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Local students and YouTube video raise anti-bullying awareness on Pink Shirt Day

An anti-bullying project spearheaded by Richmond’s Mette Hamaguchi and four-months in the planning has been an overwhelming success resulting in more than 208,000 views of student-led YouTube flashmob video.
“That was really our quest. The goal of staff was to try to send a positive message through social media,” Hamaguchi said Wednesday from David Lloyd George Elementary in Vancouver where she teaches.
Wednesday was Pink Shirt Day across Canada. The day was started by a couple of Nova Scotia high school students, who encouraged their peers to wear pink to school one day after a student was bullied for wearing a pink shirt on the first day of school.
Richmond students were encouraged to wear pink to school yesterday.
Sparked by the tragic rape and susequent bullying of a teenager in Pitt Meadows last year, Hamaguchi was inspired to enlist her students to send a positive message to the community.
Hamaguchi said some 300 students from her school and Churchill Secondary, practiced for four months before gathering at lunchtime at Oakridge Centre in Vancouver on Jan. 27.
The students performed a choreographed flash mob, a seemingly impromptu gathering of people that begins with a few dancing together and slowly builds until hundreds perform a synchronized routine.
Thus far, Anti-Bullying Flashmob January 2011 has been viewed more than 208,000 times. It was choreographed by Jheric Hizon and directed by Anita Perel-Panar from A Star Studio Productions,
“We’re completely overwhelmed,” Hamaguchi said.

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