Kind messages were posted to each locker in Vernon Secondary School Wednesday as two students decided to make a real impact for Pink Shirt Day.

Kind messages were posted to each locker in Vernon Secondary School Wednesday as two students decided to make a real impact for Pink Shirt Day.

School plastered with compliments

A couple of Vernon students took pink shirt day to a whole new level, spreading notes of positivity across their school

A couple of Vernon students took pink shirt day to a whole new level, spreading notes of positivity across their school.

Like little elves working tirelessly into the night, the two Vernon Secondary students put neon pink sticky notes on every locker in the school. But the real work was writing out unique compliments on each of the approximately 1,000 sticky notes.

Then, as students began filtering into the school for classes Wednesday, the sounds of surprise grew and smiles spread.

“It was really nice,” said Grade 9 student Brienna Condie, who received a note which put a smile on her face for the rest of her day. “They were compliments like ‘smile’ and ‘you are amazing.’”

“It was a good surprise,” added Jordan Kaempf, who enjoyed the note that read ‘on a scale of one to 10 you’re an 11.’

Maggi Vandeleest couldn’t believe someone went to that much trouble to spread so much kindness.

“That would’ve taken so long,” said Vandeleest.

Principal Malcolm Reid was thoroughly impressed by the act.

“This was so very organic. It didn’t come from the top,” said Reid, as no teacher instruction was given. “That’s the way things should be done.”

While the act was incredible, Reid was equally impressed by the impact.

“The neatest part was probably for the first two or three hours, nobody took them down.”

Teachers were also amazed by the effort as they came to school Wednesday, but Reid secretly knew what was up.

“I caught her (sticky note bandit) at 8 last night while she was trying to get into the office to put them in all the teachers’ boxes,” said Reid, whose own note read ‘Thank you for keeping the school a safe and warm place to be.’

Grade 10 student Shaughnessy Barker and her Grade 12 friend Courtney Becker admit the task took a bit of time.

“It took a week to write about 600 sticky notes,” said Barker, who then discovered Tuesday evening that they didn’t have enough. “We were here (VSS) from 5 until 8:30 p.m.”

The idea behind their positive sticky notes was to focus on making everyone feel loved by sharing positivity (rather than focusing on stopping bullying).

“Pink Shirt Day is great but nothing happens with it anymore. It’s kind of lost its spark,” said Barker, who said she got the sticky note idea last year after seeing another school do it.

“It’s just a great way to make people happy and start people’s day.”

And it worked.

The smiles were abundant at VSS Wednesday as students were comparing their notes and even extending the compliments to others.

“One girl got one and then turned around to another girl and said, ‘wow, your hair looks really good today,’” said Barker, who also witnessed a couple boys taking their notes down and passing them on to other people.

“I was hoping it could start a chain reaction.”

Barker’s mom even picked up the idea and did the same thing at the Alternative Programs School, where she works.

“People see that one or two people can make a difference,” said Barker.