Stuck in the Middle: Who's P!NK?
Last Wednesday, along with thousands of other schools across Canada and the world, we celebrated Pink Shirt Day at North Saanich. Pink Shirt Day was initiated by two high school students in Nova Scotia. They took a stand against homophobic bullying in 2007 by buying 50 pink shirts and distributing them to friends to wear the day after a new grade 9 student in their school had been bullied for wearing a pink shirt.
Many students and staff at North Saanich supported this cause by wearing pink shirts. Many more wore any pink item they had at home; including pink ball hats, bandanas, friendship bracelets and socks. What we wear isn’t as important as how we act. The day is about celebrating acceptance, kindness, friendship and inclusion. Pink is the symbol to show that we support these ideals. Our actions show that we believe in these principles. Every day at NSMS students demonstrate these qualities, and it is a big reason it is such a great school.
As we headed off to lunch on Pink Shirt Day, I realized I had to make some announcements over the PA system. The second to last announcement I made was “anyone wearing pink or supporting Pink Shirt Day regardless of what colour shirt you are wearing is invited to the gym where we are going to take a large group picture.” Then I thought I would be clever and demonstrate a little symbolism by saying, “ and in support of Pink Shirt Day, here is a song to listen to as you head off to lunch.”
I then cranked up one of my favorite edgy female artist’s song, “Let’s Get the Party Started”. Man, I thought I was clever. A little upbeat music by P!NK on Pink Shirt Day. I was feeling pretty hip and young as I strutted down the hallway. It felt like P!Nk and her friend were walking along with me. I might of even lip synced into an imaginary mic/hair dryer at one point.
Mrs. T. Johnson came sashaying down the hall, “Great tune”! Mr. Greaves smiled. But the students didn’t even seem to notice. What was wrong? Middle School kids have an opinion about everything. Finally, a group of young girls said, “Who was that singing Mr. Russell, Rihanna?”
“Rihanna! No that was P!NKn” I replied. “You know to help celebrate Pink Shirt Day.”
They looked stunned for a second before one young lady replied, “That's nice. I don’t know that song.”
And then another student added, “Who’s P!NK?”
Recently a high school friend of mine who reads my ‘Stuck in the Middle’ told me I had to update my music references. That's what I was doing. P!NK is young and hip. I thought the kids would like her. As lunch moved along students approached me and commented on the quality of the sound system, inquired about the name of the song and asked if I would play some songs they knew.
After I had a little time to reflect I realized that P!NK’s ‘Let’s Get the Party Started’ reached number 3 on Billboard's top 40 in January 2002. Hmmm! Just maybe, our NSMS students weren’t listening to much music back then.
At North Saanich Middle School, you can wear your best pink shirt on Pink Shirt Day, but be kind, accepting and respectful every day!
PS. Our Superintendent, Mr. Dave Eberwein, wrote a great blog about Pink Shirt Day. Check it out at https://thepowerofwhy.ca/tag/sea-of-pink/
P!NK “Let’s Get the Party Started” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUptBgyzbyg