Today marks the 8th anniversary of “Pink Shirt Day” which began in Nova Scotia in 2008 after a boy in grade 9
was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school.
Soon after the school rallied by his side and distributed pink shirts to all their students.
Statistics show that one in four children are bullied, with 71% saying they could find no way out of the situation. Unfortunately, “Bullycide” is a new term created
in the last few years as more 50% more youth are now committing suicide due to bullying. (50% increase over the past 30 years…a statistic that should certainly not exist.)
Personally I see bullying first hand far too often. We know many youth and children are bullied in person at school but with the rise of the Internet, we must remember that anonymous bullying is also attacking people online. It can also be important to remember that adults bully other adults, especially when their identity is secretive.
A lot of people ask me what they can do for “Pink Shirt/Anti-Bully Day” and if helping is as easy as wearing a pink shirt to show support. The proceeds from the shirts (sold at London Drugs for $9.80) go to anti-bullying programs and the shirt shows your support publicly. Beyond the shirt, there is a lot you can do to get involved that you probably have not heard about.
Coast Capital Savings has lapel pins in exchange for your donation. If you cannot make it out, you can donate online here: http://go.chimp.net/pinkshirt/. You can also go to Blenz Coffee and text “PINK” to 20222 to have $5 donated to anti-bullying programs. Next, stop in at Brooklyn Clothing and get your pink button, which also donates $5! Clearly Contacts will help too, as part proceeds of all glasses bought today will go to anti-bullying research and programs.
Do you just need to unwind and do some exercise? YYOGA is giving proceeds to pink shirt day just for dropping in! Want to cycle? Cadence Cycling Studio in Vancouver is hosting charity rides; you dress in pink, cycle, and can win prizes!
Finally are you tired of Pink shirts altogether and want a pink skirt? Not to worry, Party Skirts by Skot has you covered. Of course, part proceeds from the skirts will fund anti-bullying campaigns and programs.
Beyond all the great fundraisers and events you can stand up to all bullying by reporting it if and when you see it. Tell a teacher, a police officer, or tell someone you trust and they will help you. We do not want to see the suicide rate increase any more than is already has. Have a zero tolerance attitude and demand respect.
We are all unique and wonderfully made beings who deserve to be treated with kindness and love. Love yourself and love others.
If you missed the Oscars on Sunday I will leave you with a tremendous speech by Graham Moore who won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for “The Imitation Game”. He said “I tried to commit suicide at 16 and now I’m standing here. I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere. You do. Stay weird. Stay different, and then when it’s your turn and you are standing on this stage please pass the same message along.”
also link to pinkshirtday site is http://pinkshirtday.ca/ want more information