6 Ways to Stop Bullying and Why You Should Wear Pink on February 23
Pink Shirt Day takes place on the last Wednesday in February and will be celebrated on February 23 this year. On Pink Shirt Day, people take a stand against bullying by wearing a pink shirt. This year’s theme is “lift each other up.”
Pinkshirtday.ca explains that “today our diversity is becoming more visible than ever as people continue to embrace their cultures, identities, and true selves in more open and direct ways; making the need to lift each other up and have greater acceptance, respect, and inclusion for everyone so important.”
Did you know?
- Pink Shirt Day was started in Canada. We also gave the world the electric wheelchair, the telephone, insulin, the pacemaker, the prosthetic hand, and the Canadarm on NASA’s space shuttle.
- Young Canadians make a difference! Pink shirt day was started by Berwick, Nova Scotia students Travis Price and David Shephard when a male-ninth grade student was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. They bought 50 pink shirts for other students to wear in solidarity with Chuck McNeill, the student who was bullied.
- Pink Shirt Day is recognized by the United Nations. In 2012 the UN declared the official day to be May 4 but some countries celebrate it on February 28 or 29.
- Pink Shirt Day is Celebrated in over 180 countries including, Japan, China, Panama, New Zealand, the United States, France, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Lebanon.
- Recent advances in behavioral and neural science have shown that mental health is vital and that bullying has a negative effect on schools, workplaces, and communities.
- The word “bullycide” was created in 2010 when the Yale School of Medicine found a direct link between bullying and teen suicide.
- According to the United States Department of Justice, one in four teenagers are bullied and in 71% of cases the bullying continues after the first event, sometimes for years.
- Cyberbullying counts as bullying and increases the risk of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.
Tips for preventing bullying
Despite our reputation for politeness and peacefulness, bullying is a problem in Canada. According to the Red Cross, “Canadian teachers ranked cyberbullying as their issue of highest concern out of six listed options—89 per cent said bullying and violence are serious problems in our public schools.” While bullying might seem like an insurmountable problem, everyone can be part of the solution.
1. If you see someone being bullied, stand up for them and call out the bully. Invite them into your friend group and friend them on social media.
2. Do not participate in bullying, including laughing at mean comments, spreading rumors, or cyberbullying.
3. Help the person who was bullied get help like talking to a counselor or teacher.
4. Make friends with newcomers at school.
5. Speak up when something is not right. Others probably agree but are afraid to say anything.
6. Make parents and staff at school aware of a bullying problem.
Celebrate Pink Shirt Day
Have some fun this February 23 while taking a stand against bullying.
- You can observe Pink Shirt Day by wearing a pink shirt and encouraging people you work or go to school with to do the same.
- Help your kids, students, or friends build positive relationships face-to-face and online.
- Have a pink shirt party! Have pink snacks, pink shirts, and handouts that promote anti-bullying.
- Make a donation to support anti-bullying programs.