Pink Shirt (Anti-Bullying) Day will be Wed. Feb. 29, 2012.
You may be aware of the occasion, but did you know it began in Canada?
Here is part of the original Sept. 2007 CBC News report:
Two Nova Scotia students are being praised across North America for the way they turned the tide against the bullies who picked on a fellow student for wearing pink.
The victim, a Grade 9 boy, wore a pink polo shirt on his first day of school. Bullies harassed the boy, called him a homosexual for wearing pink and threatened to beat him up.
Two Grade 12 students — David Shepherd and Travis Price — heard the news and decided to take action.
"I just figured enough was enough," said Shepherd. They went to a nearby discount store and bought 50 pink shirts… to wear to school the next day. Then the two went online to e-mail classmates to get them on board with their anti-bullying cause that they dubbed a "sea of pink."
But a tsunami of support poured in the next day. Not only were dozens of students outfitted with the discount tees, but hundreds of students showed up wearing their own pink clothes, some head-to-toe. When the bullied student… walked into school to see fellow students decked out in pink...it was a powerful moment. "It looked like there was a big weight lifted off his shoulders….”said Shepherd.
There's been nary a peep from the bullies since, which Shepherd says just goes to show what a little activism will do.
In 2008 Premier Gordon Campbell recognized Anti-Bullying Day in BC. Christy Clark has been a big supporter in both her talk show and her website. The International STAND UP to Bullying Day is actually a bi-annual event (February and November) with 25 countries participating. The official date is usually the last Wednesday in February.
Bullying can show itself in many forms, and usually when teachers aren’t present. One program my school utilizes is called “using your WITS”. It provides a strategy for times when students have problems on the playground. It also gives peers a common language to use when trying to help.
W= walk away, I= ignore, T– talk about it, S– seek help
Want to get involved with your own pink shirt? They cost about $10, with proceeds going to Boys and Girls Clubs. They are available online or through sponsors such as London Drugs.