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Langley school finds the ticket to kindness

School District 35 celebrated Diversity and Respect Week which includes Pink Shirt Day
Wiloughby Elementary students and staff handed out kindness tickets during Diversity and Respect Week 2022. (Langley School District/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Willoughby Elementary students were on the lookout for people exhibiting very specific behaviour so they could be ‘ticketed’.

The school population took the opportunity during Diversity and Respect Week to issue kindness tickets.

It’s one of the many activities during the last week of February that includes Pink Shirt Day.

The Langley School District is very diverse, with students’ families speaking more than 45 different languages in households across the district, and that number is continuing to grow, noted superintendent Mal Gill.

Every year, the district recognizes and honours our multi-culturalism with Diversity and Respect Week. It is also a week to celebrate culture, ethnicity, and individuality.

As established by the Langley board of education in 2017, it is a means “to coincide with Pink Shirt Day in February to promote awareness, acceptance, reconciliation, and inclusion for all members of the school community.”

“As part of our district vision, our schools continue to foster an inclusive and nurturing culture, one which ensures that all students and staff feel a sense of belonging,” Gill said.

To recognize diversity across the district, schools will be welcoming students with new diversity flag signage, reminding them that they belong, and they are welcome, no matter who they are, he said.

In addition, students and staff are receiving diversity flag stickers, and staff have been given window decals to decorate their classrooms.

“The district is proud to celebrate this week with students and staff and share our learning with the greater community,” added Gill.

Schools have organized activities and events to recognize, celebrate, and educate students, adopting various themes which highlight kindness, anti-bullying, and Indigenous and LGBTQ communities.

On Tuesday, Feb. 22, Walnut Grove Secondary made a rainbow crosswalk out of multi-coloured chalk to celebrate PRIDE and inclusion.

On Pink Shirt Day Feb. 23, Willoughby Elementary students, and staff all had their own kindness tickets to hand out and ‘catch’ anyone showing examples of kindness throughout the day.

The classes did lessons on kindness and the ticketing proved to be a hit with student realizing that not only did they enjoy receiving the tickets but also enjoyed being on the lookout for kindness exhibited by others.

“Just to see students running up to each other intentionally to give each other compliments is just so heartwarming to see,” said Karin Muuren, Willoughby Elementary principal.

A few elementary schools will be getting their families involved by having them colour and submit a national flag that represents their culture or heritage, which will be posted in their buildings.

“The district is excited to help facilitate all this work. We hope that this will continue to fuel engaging and enlightening conversations and help everyone in our community feel included and respected,” said Gill.


• READ MORE: Langley Central Rotary to honour women’s unsung contributions

• READ MORE: Lots of B.C. pools were a sea of pink with special cap campaign


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Karin Muuren is principal of Willoughby Elementary which celebrated Diversity and Respect Week by handing out kindness tickets. (Langley School District/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Heather Colpitts

About the Author: Heather Colpitts

Award-winning reporter and photographer Heather Colpitts has spent her career working at community newspapers, starting in 1992
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