Seeing pink? Anti-bullying campaign underway
Published Wednesday, April 14, 2010 1:47PM PDT Last Updated Friday, May 18, 2012 10:25PM PDT
Hundreds of British Columbians wore pink to school or the office on Wednesday for Pink Shirt Day, an organized push back against all forms of bullying.
The event was inspired by a Grade 9 student in Nova Scotia who was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school in 2007. Two of his fellow students helped him organize a protest, handing out pink shirts to their classmates to wear in solidarity.
With help from the Boys and Girls Club, the kids' protest has since ballooned into a national movement. Club representative Carolyn Tuckwell said the cause resonates because bullying is not limited to grade school.
"Bullying comes kind of naturally to us, unfortunately," Tuckwell said. "So many of the stories we're hearing are from people struggling with coworkers or friends, anyone, so it's relevant to every age group."
The advent of Facebook and other social media sites has made bullying, often done by anonymous strangers, harder to prevent. But Tuckwell says Pink Shirt Day has still seen great success since its inception.
"Some people look at bullying as a right of passage, but we don't believe that," Tuckwell said. "We know if people are talking about it then we have a chance to make it stop."
In downtown Vancouver on Wednesday morning, about 80 volunteers waved pink flags, sold pink T-shirts, and spread the word about bullying prevention from street corners. The Boys and Girls Club has sold more than 30,000 shirts this year to support its youth programs.
The event is usually held in February, but was pushed back to make way for the 2010 Olympics. This year's event instead coincides with Day of Pink, the international anti-bullying celebration.
The day will end with a 4 p.m. wrap concert at the Fraserview Boys and Girls Club at 7595 Victoria Drive. Roughly 250 club members, most between the ages of 6 and 14, are expected to attend, but organizers say newcomers are also welcome.
For resources on bullying, visit the Pink Shirt Day website.