Pink Shirt Day at G. Théberge School

Principal Allison Boone with students
Principal Allison Boone engaging with a student

At G. Théberge School, located in beautiful Témiscaming, students have been busy creating Pink Shirt Day decorations during the month of February. Throughout, the dedicated members of staff at the school have been teaching about the importance of Pink Shirt Day and what it represents. With the school adorned with anti-bullying-themed art, staff and students proudly wore pink in celebration.

Pink Shirt Day began in 2007 at a school in Berwick, Nova Scotia, when two senior students took a stand against homophobic bullying after a fellow student was harassed and threatened for wearing pink. In response to the bullying, the two seniors purchased dozens of pink shirts and distributed them to their classmates to wear the next day.

This touching gesture of courage, empathy, and allyship between students from a small town in Canada became a global movement. The tradition is currently celebrated in 25 countries, and has been recognized by the United Nations. The Western Québec School Board is proud to see its schools and centres continue to partake in Pink Shirt Day.

From the front entrance of G. Théberge School, which proudly dons a Pride flag and an “Every Child Matters” flag all year long, it is clear that the school embraces and celebrates diversity. In addition, the consistent kindness, warmth, and care to all by staff members truly models G Théberge’s philosophy of inclusion.

G. Théberge students

Among the numerous anti-bullying activities organized at the school this past month, a few stand out due to the unique partnerships that have been created. For example, school life animator, Frankie Vermette worked with personnel at Témiscaming’s French school, which shares the same building, to create a ringed anti-bullying garland. Each student from the two schools signed a ring which was then hung in the hallway to the gymnasium which is shared by the two schools. The garland acts as a reminder to all that the students are connected in their stance against bullying.

The school also benefitted when members of the Wolf Lake First Nation which reached out to ask how they could support mental health initiatives at the school. Working with the staff at G. Théberge, they funded the purchase of a massive anti-bullying banner containing the signatures of staff and students from the two schools. The banner was installed in the school gymnasium as a culminating activity.

G. Théberge’s efforts to create a safe, welcoming and peaceful environment for its students clearly reflects the values of the Western Québec School Board. We recognize the staff for its dedication to this worthy goal.

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