Rotorua schools spoke up and stood together to stop bullying this month by taking part in Pink Shirt Day.

The annual occasion was marked last Friday and saw students and teachers head to school in pink to raise awareness of bullying.

This was the first year Te Kura Kaupapa o te Koutu took part in the initiative, Aroha Haumaha said.

The health and physical education teacher said the school had been a "sea of pink".


"Bullying is such a huge thing and it affects so many of our kids I thought it was a great opportunity to get our kids involved," she said.

Haumaha said the day had been spent doing fun activities, including a teachers vs student basketball game and prizes for the best dressed.

"We also talked about strategies to prevent bullying.

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Koutu students wore pink to mark the day. Photo/Supplied
Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Koutu students wore pink to mark the day. Photo/Supplied

"But this movement is also about celebrating diversity, it's not just bullying."

She said almost every student had donned even a little pink.

"The basketball created a fun atmosphere within the school. We played teachers vs students to help develop that trust so that when a student is in a bullying situation they can trust the teachers and open up to us," she said.

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"What better way to join teachers and students together in a different setting?"

The school also used the day to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation.

Rotorua Intermediate and John Paul College also marked Pink Shirt Day, as did other schools around the city and country.

Pink Shirt Day is about working together to stop bullying by celebrating diversity and promoting positive relationships.