For one day every February, community groups, local police and businesses band together and don pink regalia in support of anti-bullying dialogue.
And, every year, that communication slowly fades away. While Pink Shirt Day, which has its humble roots in small-town Nova Scotia more than 10 years ago, is a commendable initiative, it’s a dialogue that should be in focus for not just one but 365 days per year.
It all began when David Shepherd and Travis Price wore pink shirts in protest of a Grade 9 boy who had been bullied for wearing pink. Shepherd and Price circulated pink T-shirts to all boys in their school in an act of solidarity with the student.
Fast forward 12 years and Pink Shirt Day has spread to a global audience with about 180 countries – such as Japan, New Zealand, China and Panama – participating in the movement Wednesday, Feb. 27.
Participants can show their support for the movement through posts and donations on social media. While that is all well and good, bullying isn’t confined to one day per year. Therefore, neither should anti-bullying movements occur once annually.
From the heart-wrenching story of Amanda Todd, the Port Coquitlam who committed suicide on Oct. 10, 2012, after years of cyber-bullying, to the day-to-day occurrences at schools and businesses – because it isn’t confined to the schoolyard –bullying is a concept that needs to be top-of-mind year-round.
Wear pink on Wednesday, promote anti-bullying and nurture an awareness of the subject. And, as Wednesday turns into Thursday, do it again.
Only by supporting anti-bullying discourse can we as a society ever hope to mitigate the devastating impacts of bullying.