Painting the town pink on February 23

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In 2007, two Grade 12 students from Nova Scotia, David Shepherd and Travis Price, started a movement.  After witnessing the bullying of a younger student for wearing a pink shirt to school, the duo set off a chain reaction across the country and around the world which has now become Pink Shirt Day with thousands wearing pink to raise awareness around bullying.  This year, Pink Shirt Day in British Columbia takes place on Wednesday, February 23, 2011.

Pink Shirt Day is February 23, 2011According to the Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet), in Canadian schools, bullying happens every 7.5 minutes in the playgrounds and every 25 minutes in the classroom.  These statistics paint a very alarming and ‘un-Canadian’ picture of childhood in Canada.  Unfortunately, we are not the only ones who are noticing.

In 2010 the World Health Organization (WHO) ranked Canada in the bottom third of the 40 developed nations studied, according to their survey Health Behaviours of School-Aged Children which was based on children’s reports of bullying and victimization.

Although the statistics are alarming, the human impact is heartbreaking – children who are victimized can be emotionally scarred for life. For those who survive, and recent stories remind us that many don’t, the consequences can be devastating and long lasting.

While it might seem a small gesture, wearing something pink on Wednesday sends a message that as a society we won’t tolerate bullying and we remind the victims that they do not have to suffer alone and in silence.

Pink Shirt Day
Wednesday, February 23, 2011

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