As a human, bullying is something that I find abhorrent, but as a mother, it’s something that actually physically hurts my heart. To live with the knowledge that bullying not only exists, but that an estimated 50% of Canadian school children are bullied makes me want to weep. And then it makes me want to stop it.
How amazing would it be to know that our children would never have to suffer under the cruelty of a bully? I know I do my best to talk to my children about how to handle conflict and bullies, but we can always do more. Education and awareness of the issue will help to stop the problem and so this year, on February 29, I encourage everyone to join in on Pink Shirt Day. On February 29, let’s all wear a pink shirt and help bring awareness to the fact that in Canada, someone is subjected to bullying on a playground every seven minutes. Every seven minutes.
When I heard that statistic, I cringed, and then I read the story of how Pink Shirt Day came to be and I felt hopeful again. Pink Shirt Day was started five years ago after CKNW read an article about two amazing teens were wanted to stop the bullying in their school:
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…[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.
Now that is the definition of awesome.
If you don’t have a pink shirt, never fear, you can purchase an official pink t-shirt online from PinkShirtDay.ca, as well as at London Drugs. The net proceeds from the sale of the shirts will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Coast BC and the CKNW Orphans’ Fund.
Bullying Stops Here on Feb 29th. Get involved. Educate yourself and intervene when you see bullying happening.