Anti-Bullying Day is observed annually every May 4. It is a day when the world pledges to end bullying in schools. Bullying is as old as human society. Sometimes, the signs are apparent and wilful. Other times, it is insidious and may exist where we least expect it — family, friends, or others close to the victim. But mostly, children are at higher risk since bullies prey on the most vulnerable. Every child has the right to grow up without experiencing abuse, especially in places of learning designed to be safe spaces. Anti-Bullying Day raises awareness about bullying and how to support children who may be silently suffering from it.
History of Anti-Bullying Day
The idea for Anti-Bullying Day came from David Shepherd and Travis Price in Nova Scotia, Canada. In 2007, the two bought and distributed 50 pink shirts to show their support for Jadrien Cota. He is a male student who was viciously bullied on the first day of school for wearing a pink shirt. Since then, people have worn pink, purple, or blue shirts to stand up against bullying.
Bullying exists wherever there are groups of people. Sometimes presenting itself as ‘teasing’ or ‘jokes,’ bullying is rampant since there is always an individual with the need to assert dominance. Bullies belittle people based on their looks, race, gender, sexuality, or religion. Sometimes, they don’t need a reason to accept a person’s differences. Statistics show that at least 71% of students have been victims of bullying in school. The explosion of the internet makes it extra challenging. No longer confined to schoolyards, bullying today comes directly to people’s homes through social media, websites, and devices.
On this day, schools everywhere stand up against bullying. The holiday can have varying dates and names depending on the location. But the aim is universal, it is to prevent bullying and support kids who need help. The United Nations has designated May 4 as Anti-Bullying Day. A day that reminds us to defend anyone who faces victimization or harassment regardless of race, gender, or age.
Anti-Bullying Day timeline
“Tom Brown’s School Days” by Robert Hughes depicts scenes of bullying in schools.
One of the first reports of a student dying from a “bullying behavior” of another comes from King’s School in Canterbury, United Kingdom.
Besides physical and verbal harassment, bullying expands to mean social exclusion and spreading rumors.
The California State Legislature passes one of the first laws in the United States to combat cyberbullying.
Anti-Bullying Day FAQs
What is Pink Shirt Day in Canada?
May 4 is Anti-Bullying Day or Pink Shirt Day in Canada. On this day, students stand in solidarity with victims of bullying by providing support, resources, and symbolic gestures.
What school did Travis Price go to?
Price attended Central Kings Rural High School in Cambridge, Nova Scotia. Years later, the idea for Anti-Bullying Day would take shape here.
Why do we celebrate Anti-Bullying Day?
The United States Department of Justice says that at least one out of four children will be bullied during adolescence. Anti-Bullying Day builds awareness on bullying — how to prevent it, and what we can do to support victims.
How to Observe Anti-Bullying Day
Encourage other kids to speak up
Victims of bullying rarely come forward. So, other kids must stand up against bullying. Encourage children to seek help from parents or teachers.
Seek help and support
If you are dealing with a bully, confide in a trusted friend or adult. There are people, groups, and organizations that can ensure your well-being and safety.
Be a friend
Be a friend to someone who sits by themselves at lunch or never gets picked for a team. Sometimes, simply listening or showing interest can make all the difference.
5 Facts About Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying affects most children
At least 45% of children in schools have faced bullying online.
Too close to home
Most cyberbullying happens through students’ cell phones.
Societal and peer pressure
At least 75% of students admit to visiting websites that bash other students.
Girls have it worse
More girls are targets of cyberbullying than boys.
About 72% of teens face online bullying for their looks resulting in depression, anxiety, and body image issues.
Why Anti-Bullying Day is Important
It saves lives
Bullying victims are twice more likely to consider suicide. Ensuring children have the support they need at home, school, and in the community can change these terrifying statistics.
It keeps kids in school
Studies show that children who are victims of bullying tend to drop out of school. Preventive measures can help children stay in school and chart meaningful futures.
It encourages differences
The world is richer for its diversity. Anti-Bullying Day is committed not only to ending violence but to celebrating differences.
Anti-Bullying Day dates