The courage to wear pink

Editorial about the Pink Shirt Day campaign against bullying.

Next week, boys and girls of all ages in schools throughout the Ladysmith and Chemainus areas — along with students across the country — will wear pink shirts to show they won’t tolerate bullying.

Many adults will join them too, as people across Canada take part in Pink Shirt Day on Feb. 29. Everyone is encouraged to wear something pink to symbolize that we as a society will not tolerate bullying anywhere.

Five years ago, Pink Shirt Day was inspired by two high school students in Nova Scotia who took a stand against bullying by distributing pink shirts to all the boys in their school to wear in sympathy with a Grade 9 boy who was being bullied for wearing pink.

Today, it’s a national campaign that sends the message “bullying stops here.” It’s pretty amazing to see how it has spread and to think it’s all because two boys had the courage to do something about bullying.

This campaign is all about courage. The courage to wear pink. The courage to see bullying around you and do something to stop it. The courage to talk to someone and seek help if you are being bullied.

It’s a great awareness-building campaign, but we all have to try to remember that we shouldn’t tolerate bullying any time, not just around Pink Shirt Day when the spotlight is shining on this issue. Whether you choose to wear pink or not on Feb. 29, we hope you will at least take a moment to think about bullying — in children and in adults — and recognize that it does happen all around us, even if we don’t hear about it.

If you know someone who is being bullied, Pink Shirt Day offers some great online information about recognizing the signs of bullying and what to do about it. There’s also a public service announcement.