Today is the 3rd annual Pink Shirt Day in BC. In conjunction with Anti-Bullying Day which was created a few years ago by local radio host Christy Clark, it is a time to stand up and speak out against bullying. The pink shirts symbolize the story of a boy who was bullied for wearing a pink t-shirt to school one day. In solidarity, and to raise awareness about all forms of bullying, this has become a campaign symbol.
One in four children in Canada fall prey to one of these forms of bullying: Physical Bullying, Cyber Bullying, Social Bullying and Verbal Bullying.
On a personal note, I left school a long time ago but in every office or industry I have ever worked there has been some form of bullying — especially in the online realm. Passive aggressive blog posts or Tweets may sound like a joke but if you’re the target, it’s no laughing matter. People spread lies, hate, and mock others daily online, making cyber bullying seem as though it’s a natural part of the social space. They taunt and tease until the victim reaches a breaking point, like in Megan Meier‘s case.
Whether it’s schoolyard name-calling, teasing in the hallway, or posting defamatory content online, bullying is a serious issue and we need campaigns like this so that one day it will stop. This morning on Global Christy Clark said her personal message this year is “don’t be an audience” as may bullies are looking for that. She mentioned the dangers of being a “just a bystander”.
The online store has sold out of merchandise for today, which is a great sign as $5 from each shirt went to the Boys and Girls Club. London Drugs locations may have some stock still available and they’ll be selling some shirts on the streets of downtown Vancouver today.
You can also donate to the Boys and Girls Club, wear a pink shirt today regardless, or perform a random act of kindness (because those are nice any day).