Pink Shirt Day is an annual observation that takes place on the last Wednesday of February and this year, it falls on February 28. People wear pink shirts to signify the stand against bullying. This day started in Canada and is now observed on various dates around the world. In 2012, the United Nations declared the official day to be May 4, but some countries prefer to celebrate it on February 28 or 29, and this date is accepted by many countries worldwide, countries like the United States, France, Australia, New Zealand, Lebanon, and the United Kingdom.
History of Pink Shirt Day in Canada
The first Pink Shirt Day was established by Travis Price and David Shepherd of Berwick, Nova Scotia. In 2007, they bought and shared 50 pink shirts after Chuck McNeill — a male ninth-grader got bullied for wearing a pink shirt on the first day of school. The former Premier of Nova Scotia, Rodney MacDonald, then declared the second Thursday of September ‘Stand Up Against Bullying Day’ in commemoration of these events. The Premier of British Columbia in 2008, Gordon Campbell, finally announced February 27 to be the regional anti-bullying day, and that set the last Wednesday of every February as the national anti-bullying day in Canada. In 2009, Boys and Girls Clubs wore pink T-shirts that said ‘Pink Shirt Day’ and ‘Bullying Stops Here’ for Anti-Bullying Day.
The day was established to combat bullying. The United States Department of Justice indicated that one out of four kids would be bullied during adolescence. And bullying usually continues after the first event, sometimes for years after. Detailed research showed that 71% of students bullied continue to be bullied, making it an issue with no solution. Bullying is so bad that even a 2010 study in the Yale School of Medicine discovered an association between being bullied and committing suicide. The term to describe this is ‘bullycide,’ where someone who is bullied eventually commits suicide as the effect.
Pink Shirt Day activities can take place at schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, or any peer group location. It usually involves abolishing bullying rallies, creating awareness, holding networking booths to help the community better understand the wrongs of bullying, and promoting anti-discrimination organizations. Other features include handouts, resources, and information promoting the message of the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence.
Pink Shirt Day in Canada timeline
Ninth-grade students take up a stance by wearing pink shirts to support their classmate who was bullied for wearing a pink shirt.
Travis Price and David Shepherd of Berwick start Pink Shirt Day
Gordon Campbell announces February 27 as Pink Shirt Day
Boys and Girls Clubs wear pink t-shirts to commemorate Pink Shirt Day
Yale School of Medicine discovers an association between being bullied and committing suicide named ‘bullycide.’
Pink Shirt Day in Canada FAQs
How do you become an upstander?
Be a friend to the person being bullied. Let them know you are there for them. Call out the bully for their actions.
When did anti-bullying campaigns start?
Anti-bullying campaigns started in 2008 when California approved the first law against cyberbullying.
What are anti-bullying campaigns?
Bullying is an obstacle that kids and adults deal with daily. Anti-bullying campaigns are a way to bring awareness to the community. They also provide hope by giving the bullied a place to turn to.
How does cyberbullying affect a people’s mental health?
Cyberbullying increases the risks of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.
What are the best ways to approach bullying?
One of the best ways to approach bullying is a cohesive anti-bullying campaign in a school. The members of the community stand up against bullying and do not support it.
How do we implement anti-bullying policies in schools?
The policy must be communicated to teachers, parents, and learners. It must be activated school-wide. Unacceptable behaviors must not be tolerated, and learners who need counseling must be accommodated.
How To Observe Pink Shirt Day in Canada
Wear a pink shirt
Wear a pink shirt and encourage your workmates, students, or the community to wear pink shirts. You could choose the official day or pick a day after it.
Build and teach positive relationships
One of the most productive ways to beat bullying is to help your kids, friends, and students build positive relationships with each other. Work with your kids or students and develop lessons that help them learn how to nurture positive relationships with each other face-to-face and online.
Host a pink-shirt themed party
Host a pink-shirt-themed party and bring out the pink sweets, pink shirts, and pink handouts that all promote anti-bullying.
5 Facts About Bullying
The staff see it
It is said that 70% of the staff have seen bullying incidents in schools.
Every one in four kids is bullied
The United States Department of Justice indicated that one out of four kids would be bullied during adolescence.
Girls are the real bullies
Girls bully a lot more than boys do.
The middle school holds the most bullying
Children in middle school record the most bullying of about 28%.
Students skip school because of bullying
About 160,000 students skip school because of bullying.
Why Pink Shirt Day in Canada is Important
We promote anti-bullying
By donning a pink shirt and leaving your house, you promote anti-bullying. But we don't just want to wear a pink shirt. We want to go ahead and engage in activities promoting anti-bullying.
We help to curb bullying
By participating in the events surrounding Pink Shirt Day, we help the earth cut down on bullying. Bullying has slightly decreased with our efforts towards it, so our efforts towards awareness go a long way.
We help make a better world
Our actions toward bullying continue to create a better environment and as this is taken globally we all help to make the world a better place. Let's all join hands to make a better world.
Pink Shirt Day in Canada dates