EDITORIAL: Think pink – today and every day

Bullying will likely never be wiped out completely, but we can hope to reduce its hold on society.

If you notice a large number of people wearing pink today, it’s likely not just due to early spring-like weather.

Today (Feb. 24) is Pink Shirt Day – also known as Anti-Bullying Day – when everyone is encouraged to stand united against abusive behaviour.

It all started back in 2007, when Nova Scotia high school students David Shepherd and Travis Price decided to stand up for a classmate who was being bullied for wearing pink.

The two students bought a stack of 50 pink tank tops for their peers, and when the sea of pink greeted the bully the next day, the nastiness was shut down in its tracks.

The kindness has continued – exponentially.

In the nine years since that courageous gesture in eastern Canada, the Pink Shirt Day movement has spread around the globe. (The United Nations has proclaimed May 4 Anti-Bullying Day).

Let’s hope the word continues to travel, because despite the raised awareness, bullying continues.

As the Surrey Fire Fighters Association notes, bullying is still “a major problem in our schools, places of work and our community at large.”

The fire service is among the numerous organizations in Surrey and Delta – along with RCMP and police, school districts and businesses – which will be proudly sporting pink in support of those who suffer.

Net proceeds from sales of official pink t-shirts (pinkshirtday.ca) support the CKNW Orphans’ Fund and are distributed to various organizations across B.C. and Alberta.

The programs funded support children’s healthy self-esteem, both with their peers and themselves. They teach empathy, compassion and kindness.

And throughout the day on Feb. 24, Coast Capital Savings will donate $1 per #PinkItForward hashtag used on social media to Pink Shirt Day, up to $45,000.

Bullying will likely never be wiped out completely, but we can hope to reduce its hold on society, as has been done with once socially acceptable drinking and driving.

So let’s all do our part Wednesday and say no to bullying.

For more information check out pinkshirtday.ca


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