2015 Pink Shirt Day Heroes

Ruben Krueger, 15, Nelson

My name is Ruben Krueger and I am 15 and I live in Nelson where I am one of the leaders for my school QSA (queer-straight alliance). I've been participating in Pink Shirt Day for the past two years and I am an organiser for this year's one at Nayland College.

Pink Shirt Day to me means the opportunity to show solidarity. As a victim of bullying, I know the feeling of isolation and being part of Pink Shirt Day makes me feel like I'm not alone and I know people who will support me and I will support others. As I have a very out there personality, I want to show that you aren't alone and you have friends no matter what. Everyday is Pink Shirt Day to me and I'm here to help you.

I would love to be a Pink Shirt Day hero because I still have two more years at school after this one and I want to be that helping hand that many people don't have. It would be an honour to be a Pink Shirt Day Hero and to show that yes, times may get tough, but you will always someone to guide you through this unknown.

 

Tekau Solomona, 10, Auckland

Pink Shirt Day means anti-bullying. I think that the person that gets bullied needs to WITS (Walk away, Ignore, Tell the teacher, Speak up). If they still do it say, “I don’t like it when I get bullied”.

The last time I was bullied is when I was eight years old. I was bullied by a group of boys and girls. Every day I would walk home crying. My mum would always ask me what happened, I would say I was bullied. So my mum came to school and told my teacher, who then told the principal, who then rang their parents one by one. She told them that they have bullied me every single day.

Now they are gone and it is an anti-bullying school. That is why I want to be a PINK SHIRT HERO!!!

 

Esther Chiang, 17, Auckland 

Pink Shirt Day is such an amazing opportunity to just let those struggling with bullying see how much support they have behind them, I think the hardest part about being a bullying victim is stepping out and asking someone for help.

Often bully victims believe what the bullies are telling them, that they are a waste of space, that they are not good enough, and they believe it so much that they think asking someone for support and help is annoying or pushing their problems onto someone else. It sucks to see people think that way because these bullies have gotten so far into their minds, that they are too afraid to ask for help. Pink Shirt Day is just a vibrant and visual way to remind them that it isn't their fault one bit. That they do not deserve any of it and the the community is backing them 100%. 

As a college student I see, hear and deal with so many issues just within the confines of our school. The students that are victims are always apologising about talking to me and "wasting my time". It breaks my heart that teenagers are spending their time in college afraid to talk because they are confined in the boundaries that other people have set them. College is supposed to be fun and where individuals can try out different clubs and groups but here are a good part of the student body that wish to be at home rather than at school. Especially now, bullying has become so easy through social media where bullies can hide their identity but cause so much a pain and suffering. 

I feel so strongly about bullying in any form and being a Pink Shirt Day Hero would be such an awesome and effective way to promote anti-bullying within my school. It would be an awesome experience and the skills and foundations I could learn and build would help make a change within not just my school but community! 

 

Madeline Arps, 12, Wellington 

I think that I would be a great Pink Shirt Day Hero as I am caring and have seen and stood up to bullies who have come against me. I have had my share of moments where I need to be stood up for, but don’t we all? All you need to stand up to a bully is to not let them affect you and not give them the satisfaction of getting a reaction from you.

Pink Shirt Day is more than just wearing a top, it is taking a stand and showing everyone that you will not  tolerate bullies. By wearing a pink top you're empowering yourself to not let those bullies get to you, knowing that hundreds of other people that are also wearing pink tops are standing right behind you. I love Pink Shirt Day and will try to have a mufti Pink Shirt Day at my school.

 

Chance Whittaker-Ngaropo, 15, Auckland  

Bullying, what does it mean to me? Well, bullying is a big word and also a big subject.

I'm taking part in Pink Shirt Day because my little brother is 11 and has Williams syndrome. He gets bullied a little, but his friends recognise and acknowledge him for the big bright personality he has. He is different on the outside but on the inside were all the same; no one is different we are all the same and we are all human beings.

"Let your smile change the world, but don’t let the world change your smile”. Bullying is a big thing and I'd like to take part in this day and competition.

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“Being a part of a national movement towards positive change is such a powerful feeling. That we are all working towards making young people feel good about who they are, right across New Zealand.”

Pink Shirt Day participant