Next Wednesday, Feb. 23 is Pink Shirt Day – a day to recognize the impacts of bullying and focussing in on initiatives to help those impacted by bullying.
In today’s print edition, thanks to many community partners, leaders and businesses, the Optimist presents our annual Pink Shirt Day anti-bullying section.
We have a number of stories that highlight anti-bullying messages and what organizations and groups in our community say that bullying – of any kind – is not okay.
For those of you who don’t know, Pink Shirt Day originated from a group of teenagers in Nova Scotia back in 2007, who organized a pink-shirt-wearing protest within their high school to support a boy who was bullied for wearing pink.
This year’s Pink Shirt Day theme is ‘Lit Each Other Up.’ Those words could not be more important in the challenges and times that we are all facing.
While I recognize and support Pink Shirt Day and everything that it stands for, this should not just be one day, it should be every day where we teach our children that bullying of any kind is simply not acceptable.
Collectively it is up to all of us – as adults – to shine a light on these issues, and to teach our next generation. To lift them up and empower all of them to do better.
Last year around this time when I penned a column about Pink Shirt Day I talked about the proliferation of on-line bullying and harassment – especially amongst our Facebook community groups. Sadly I haven’t seen much of a change, rather, the on-line bullying, harassment and abuse has actually gotten worse. Having differing opinions and debating topics of any kind is healthy and I love a good debate where you can exchange ideas and different points of view, but I won’t tolerate harassment, personal attacks and bullying.
We all need to do better. We all need to lift each other up rather than push others down.