SOURIS – Students here are seeing orange and have found a navel way to put the squeeze on bullying.
It happens every Friday here when the entire student body – all 240 - wear their orange “Stand Up” t-shirts to class as a colourful statement against bullying.
So when physical education teacher Graham Townsend discovered a definite lack of school uniforms for the big track meet this week, the call went out for all consolidated school entrants to dig out the tangerine.
“We thought we’d make a statement about our support for stamping out bullying at school,” said Townsend. “But it also makes it a lot easier finding a bunch of kids in orange in a crowd of a 1,000.”
The Souris participants were certainly easy to spot at the Zone 4 cross country meet. All 104 orange t-shirts were mandarin around the field at Southern Kings school near Murray River.
They say orange is the colour of power and healing, and that’s the message students want to deliver.
“I wear the shirt because at our school we want to stop bullying,’’ said Adie MacPhee. “We all wear them every Friday so there’s lot of orange in the school.”
Student Brooklyn MacInnnis says the school held a contest last year and that stirred the juices. Students were invited to submit a t-shirt design and from the dozens of submissions received, the design of “Stand Up” by student Cole Dalton made the biggest splash.
“It does stop bullying when we wear them,’’ says Georgia Fraser. “We’re all more aware of it because we’re all wearing the same shirts.”
Student Skylar Osman and Dakota Jagger said the orange t-shirts are a message for kids to stop pickin’ on each other.
“We all have to stand up to bullies,’’ offered Chloe Lebrech and Julie Bruce.
Townsend said the concern over the number of bullying deaths across North America was the driving force for the staff and students to take action.
“We want to make it our kind of mission statement if you will,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of great thinkers at our school.”