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‘You are not alone’

Today is Pink Shirt Day.

Marked annually around the world, Pink Shirt Day is about working together to stop bullying by celebrating diversity and promoting positive social relationships.

It is about creating a community where all people feel safe, valued and respected, regardless of age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability or cultural background.

It began in Canada in 2007 when two students took a stand against homophobic bullying after one of their peers was bullied for wearing a pink shirt.

Gisborne Girls' High School held its Pink Shirt Day celebrations on Tuesday because benchmark exams started on Wednesday and today is a teachers-only day.

“A kaupapa like Pink Shirt Day is very significant, especially to us at Girls' High,” said Terina Maraki, a student and one of the organisers of the school's Pink Shirt Day.

“We want to show that small steps, like wearing a pink shirt in our community, can help people to change lifestyles for safer, healthier and better lives.

“I want everyone who has suffered any type of bullying to know that it is OK to speak up and talk about it.

“You are not alone, we hear you, we feel you.

“He aroha whakato, he aroha puta mai. If kindness is shown, then kindness you shall receive,” Terina said.

STOP BULLYING: Gisborne Girls' High students and staff took part in Pink Shirt Day on Tuesday as today — the official day for the worldwide celebration — is a teachers-only day. Picture by Liam Clayton