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What is Pink Shirt Day?


Students in Happy Valley-Goose Bay decked out in pink t-shirts for Pink Shirt Day, 2015. (CBC)

This year, Pink Shirt Day, or Anti-Bullying Day, is on February 24.

It is a day when people come together by wearing pink shirts to school or work to show they are against bullying.

You can wear a pink shirt to school or wear one at home if your school is doing distanced e-learning.

How did Pink Shirt Day begin?

an very old photo of Travis Price and David Shepherd sitting in their high school library at old Mac computers

David Shepherd (left) and Travis Price (right) in 2007, spreading the word of their "sea of pink" campaign on the internet. (CBC)

Pink Shirt Day has not spread and become a national day of anti bullying across Canada and other countries around the worldIn 2007 in Nova Scotia, Grade 12 students David Shepherd, Travis Price and a few friends saw that a Grade 9 student was being bullied for wearing a pink shirt on the first day of school.

They knew they had to do something to show that this kind of behaviour was not OK.

They decided to go out and buy a bunch of pink shirts and hand them out to other students to wear. 

By the end of that week, most of the students in the school were wearing pink shirts to show support for the Grade 9 student who was bullied.

What's the difference between bullying and cyberbullying?

girl at school being bullied by two other girls

(Wavebreak Media Ltd/123rf)

Bullying can have long term negative effects so it is important to let bullies know what they are doing is wrongBullying is when someone deliberately tries to hurt someone else they think is weaker than they are. In many cases, bullying is repeated over and over and can cause a lot of pain that lasts a long time. It can even lead to things like depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.

Bullying happens in many ways, but some common forms of bullying are verbal (teasing, name-calling), physical (hitting, kicking, pushing, breaking someone's toys or favourite things) or social (leaving someone out, spreading rumours).

Cyberbullying is using social media or other technology like texting to threaten, embarrass or even damage a person's reputation. 

How can you help?

a whole classroom full of kids wearing pink shirts at a rally at a mall

Hundreds of students and anti-bullying advocates wear their pink shirts in Vancouver to make Pink Shirt Day in 2015. (CBC)

Here's what you can do:

  • Proudly wear your pink shirts to show that you stand up against bullying!
  • If you see someone being bullied or you're being bullied, talk to a trusted grownup about it.
  • When someone is being bullied, in person or online, stand up for them so that they know that they don't deserve to be bullied.
  • Don't encourage bullying by participating in bullying behaviour.

Here’s a cool tool to help you THINK before you say something or post any comments online that could hurt someone:

Is what you are saying True - is it Helpful - is it Inspiring - is it Necessary - be Kind

Although wearing a pink shirt on Pink Shirt Day is a great way to show you are against bullying, it’s important that we all stand up against any kind of bullying every day, all year long!



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