Pink Shirt Day is taking place on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. The focus this year is cyberbullying.
Across the school district this week (Feb. 25 – March 1), high school students will be leading a variety of activities in an effort to help create inclusive, accepting, safe school communities for all students. This is what is known as “Compassion Week”.
Compassion Week in School District 79 began at Frances Kelsey Secondary School and has since spread to all high schools in the district. Activities that are often featured during the week include multiculturalism day, rainbow day, random acts of kindness day, and pink shirt day.
History of Pink Shirt Day
Pink Shirt Day began in 2007 in a small town in Nova Scotia.
“David Shepherd, Travis Price and their teenage friends organized a high-school protest to wear pink in sympathy with a Grade 9 boy who was being bullied [for wearing a pink shirt]…[They] took a stand against bullying when they protested against the harassment of a new Grade 9 student by distributing pink T-shirts to all the boys in their school. ‘I learned that two people can come up with an idea, run with it, and it can do wonders,’ says Mr. Price, 17, who organized the pink protest. ‘Finally, someone stood up for a weaker kid.’ So Mr. Shepherd and some other headed off to a discount store and bought 50 pink tank tops. They sent out message to schoolmates that night, and the next morning they hauled the shirts to school in a plastic bag. As they stood in the foyer handing out the shirts, the bullied boy walked in. His face spoke volumes. ‘It looked like a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders,’ Mr. Price recalled. The bullies were never heard from again.” – Globe & Mail
What is Bullying?
Bullying is a form of aggression where there is a power imbalance; the person doing the bullying has power over the person being victimized. In additional to any physical trauma incurred, bullying can result in serious emotional problems, including anxiety, low self-esteem, or depression.
Types of Bullying
- Physical bullying: using physical force or aggression against another person (e.g., hitting)
- Verbal bullying: using words to verbally attack someone (e.g., name-calling)
- Social/relational bullying: trying to hurt someone through excluding them, spreading rumours or ignoring them (e.g., gossiping)
- Cyberbullying: using electronic media to threaten, embarrass, intimidate, or exclude someone, or to damage their reputation (e.g., sending threatening text messages).
For more information on Pink Shirt Day, including some great resources for parents and youth, visit www.pinkshirtday.ca.
And, to report bullying in your school, visit the Province’s ERASE Bullying reporting tool.