They came by the hundreds from all directions for what is a treasured tradition of the tri-schools.

There's always a buzz in the air on Pink Shirt Day at Cochrane's tri-schools--Elizabeth Barrett, École Manachaban and Cochrane High. It's a time set aside to reinforce the need to stop bullying and spread kindness.

pink shirt photo

"It's only 10 minutes, but it's a chance for our community to come together," says Cochrane High teacher Carolyn McLeod, who helps to organize it annually. "Every year, it just seems like it's still relevant, still important, and the kids talk about it a little more than they used to, which is good."

To this day, bullying remains a deep-rooted issue in our society.

"Bullying is continually changing its base from being in your face to being behind the screen. We're still dealing with it, obviously, and it's still not gone, which is why having these opportunities to remind ourselves of why we're doing it is so important," she says.

carolyn mcleodCHS teacher Carolyn McLeod says the annual gathering continues to reinforce an important message.

"If you see it, call it out, stand up, and support those that are getting picked on or bullied or harassed. And it's not just kids. I mean, we know this to also be true with adults. I think we need to constantly remind ourselves that we need to be kind, patient, accepting, and tolerant. And so, the more we can message it and the more we can live it, the better."   

McLeod says Cochrane High students can turn to any member of the school's staff if they are feeling bullied or targeted.

"We're here to support kids and there's a trusting relationship. From there, we can take it to wherever we need to take it and try to address the problem. It's important that they know there is someone that will listen and help."

Pink Shirt Day was sparked in 2007 when students David Shepherd and Travis Price saw a student being bullied for wearing a pink shirt in their Central Kings Rural High School in Nova Scotia. They decided to show support for the student by getting everyone at their school to wear pink the following day.

It has since grown into an international stand against bullying.