All around my school are posters advertising February 29th as the day students are to wear Pink Shirts as a way to take a stand against bullying.
We teach our kids that they need to stand up for themselves and for their friends when they are under attack. We teach our kids that it is wrong to try to force ideas and opinions without reasoned discourse. We teach our kids to show respect to those who are different from themselves, whether they agree with them or not. We teach our kids how to negotiate a fair solution when they have a disagreement with their peers.
In light of this week’s anti-bullying message, watching the BC Provinicial government’s bullying tactics toward teachers is rather ironic. This week they are trying to force teachers to accept an imposed contract, refusing to either negotiate or to have neutral mediator negotiate on their behalf.
It’s a lesson in irony.
Teachers believe in equity. We stand up to bullies. We have to, in order to be role models for our students. When we stand with our friends against bullying behavior, bullies back down. Right?
My pink shirt this Wednesday, February 29th is going to have several layers of meaning, as I do what I can to stand up for those who are bullying me and my colleagues.