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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Kelowna embraces 2021 Pink Shirt Day: ‘It’s a really important event here’

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It’s Pink Shirt Day at schools across Canada, as students, faculty and other non-profit organizations band together to combat bullying.

“It’s a day where we recognize that we want to ensure that everyone feels safe and included in our schools,” said Kevin Kaardal, Central Okanagan Public Schools superintendent.

The Central Okanagan Public School superintendent went on to say that the anti-bullying event is a pivotal day for the school district.

It allows them to focus on addressing many of the issues that surround bullying in their schools.

“Irrespective of sexual orientation, gender identity, culture, heritage, we want people to know we are here and we are all worthy of dignity and respect,” said Kaardal.

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“We want to encourage young people to be kind.”

Pink Shirt Day is also a great fundraising opportunity for non-profits and kids’ funds just like our CKNW Kids’ Fund which has funded programs for over 59,000 children and youth in B.C. in 2020.

One of those non-profits in Kelowna is the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club.

“It’s a really important event here,” said Jeremy Welder, Okanagan Boys and Girls Club’s CEO.

“Acceptance and being kind is something that is vital in all our programs.”

This year, the Boys and Girls Club held its first-ever ‘Breakfast in a Box’ event for Pink Shirt Day.

“The deal was people could pre-purchase a box, we then had delivery points in Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton, where people could pick them up,” said Welder.

One in three students in Canada have reported being bullied recently, according to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, with 47 per cent of Canadian parents also reporting having a child who has been a victim of bullying. 

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And with cyber-bullying being more prevalent than ever, today’s youth are having to navigate through a new face-less form of harassment.

These are all things Pink Shirt Day is aimed at reducing.

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Pink Shirt Day: celebrating inclusion and diversity through SOGI 1 2 3

Pink Shirt Day: celebrating inclusion and diversity through SOGI 1 2 3

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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