Big-hearted gesture

Goldfields Primary School pupils and staff gathered yesterday on their school grounds in Cromwell to form a love heart for Pink Shirt Day.

The day, which raises awareness to stop bullying, is officially marked today — people in schools across the region are dressing in pink and taking part in themed activities.

In Otago, school programmes were run by youth-led bullying prevention organisation Sticks ’n Stones.

Chief executive and co-founder Karla Sanders said year 3 ambassadors led the school by playing games that encouraged collaboration, as well as exercises and discussions about self-esteem.

Research conducted by the organisation last year showed about 25% of children experienced bullying.

Young people who had special needs, were part of the rainbow community or had any kind of perceived difference were most at risk of bullying, which could start as young as years 3 and 4 (ages 7 to 9). 

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