Beginning at the Estevan Court House this afternoon, students, parents and many others in the community will be donning pink for a march against bullies.
Shannon Culy, Holy Family School Division counsellor, is one of the organizers for the local event, the first such walk in Estevan. After gathering at the courthouse, participants will head out at 1:30 p.m. for the walk.
"We are trying to promote that safe and bully-free community," she said. "We want to be respectful of others and we want to stand (against) bullying. We don't want to sit back in that silence. We want to encourage students to step up."
Culy noted that the schools have done activities in the past to promote respect amongst the student body, but with the Red Cross' Pink Shirt Day, they are able to co-ordinate and bring more people together to stand against bullying.
"What we've done new this year, is try to get the community out," said Culy. "The business community has been so supportive."
Volunteers have sent out posters to businesses in the city so they can display them in their shops, another way to show support.
"We have always done some bullying awareness in our schools, and in the last couple of years we've started to partner with the Red Cross. Our students will participate in Spirit Days," said Culy.
At St. Mary's School, the students are participating in a spirit week, called a Bully Free Week, with a different focus each day. Today's focus is to participate in the community, Pink-Shirt Walk. They've been selling T-shirts and bracelets, with proceeds going to the Red Cross. Holy Family have their own pink shirts to sell, but the Red Cross has been selling Pink Shirt Day ones of their own as well.
This morning, Culy will be showing a video for both St. Mary's and Sacred Heart/Sacre´ Coeur School students before the walk.
"It's a slideshow presentation to educate kids about bullying, how to stand up to bullying, and in it, it has pictures of our students. So we've really made it about them, and some of the things that they've already been participating in."
Along with the Catholic schools, Hillcrest and Westview schools, as well as some classes from the Estevan Comprehensive School, will be walking in pink today.
"Because we've invited the schools, we've invited the business community, it's been great that it's been well received. They were excited to be a part of it. I think (the other schools) have also arranged their own kind of spirit days."
Because each of the schools had some sort of plan to recognize Pink Shirt Day, it made sense to co-ordinate the walk as a group.
"For never doing it (before), you just never know. I'm pleasantly surprised I guess. It's not that I didn't expect them to support it. I just didn't know how many people would get on board," said Culy.
"We're at the courthouse, so as many people who want to show up, you're welcome to come. The more the merrier. Wear your pink, dress up, it's all about trying to show that support and take a stand."
The walk begins and ends at the courthouse. People are asked to meet around 1:15 this afternoon, with walkers departing on the two-block route at 1:30.