With the tragic death of Amanda Todd last October in Port Coquitlam, the effects of bullying have been driven home all too forcefully here in the Tri-Cities. Victims of bullying face a higher risk of developing anxiety disorders, depression and suicidal thoughts, even years later. If you’re a parent, you may be concerned about your child facing bullying, or displaying bullying behaviour, and you may not be sure how to talk about it. And whether you’re a parent or not, you likely know all too well that bullying doesn’t end on the day you graduate from high school. Bullying can happen in the workplace, in community groups, on the street, online … anywhere people connect.
CKNW’s Pink Shirt Day aims to shine a light on bullying, wherever it occurs. The idea came from Nova Scotia teens David Shepherd and Travis Price, who organized a pink shirt protest when a younger student was being bullied for wearing pink. The idea spread, and today Pink Shirt Day is your chance to take a small stand against bullying. On February 27, 2013, wear something pink to say that you will not tolerate bullying. Or sign up your school, organization and business, and get others involved.
If you want to get an official Pink Shirt Day shirt, you can visit London Drugs. Net proceeds from sales of the shirts will go to support Boys and Girls Clubs, a place where bullying is not tolerated. However, an official shirt isn’t required – it’s about wearing pink, not shelling out.
Pink Shirt Day supporters include local mayors Mike Clay, Greg Moore and Richard Stewart. You can find out what events are going on in Port Coquitlam by visiting their website. If you have a child in school in the Tri-Cities, the odds are good that their class is participating as well. It’s easy to do, and it’s a good chance for all of us to take some time to reflect on how we contribute to – or hinder – an attitude of respect for everyone in our community.