Although I was vaguely familiar with Pink Shirt Day last February, it wasn’t until a friend sent me the link to the website that I really looked into it more closely. What sent me to the website was her half-joking comment at the end "these boys must have had really good preschool teachers! "
Here’s a bit from the Globe & Mail article about these boys she was referring to (from the Pink Shirt Day website http://www.pinkshirtday.ca/) :
“David Shepherd, Travis Price and their teenage friends organized a high-school protest to wear pink in sympathy with a Grade 9 boy who was being bullied…[They] took a stand against bullying when they protested against the harassment of a new Grade 9 student by distributing pink T-shirts to all the boys in their school.
‘I learned that two people can come up with an idea, run with it, and it can do wonders,’ says Mr. Price, 17, who organized the pink protest. ‘Finally, someone stood up for a weaker kid.’
So Mr. Shepherd and some other headed off to a discount store and bought 50 pink tank tops. They sent out message to schoolmates that night, and the next morning they hauled the shirts to school in a plastic bag.
As they stood in the foyer handing out the shirts, the bullied boy walked in. His face spoke volumes. ‘It looked like a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders,’ Mr. Price recalled. The bullies were never heard from again.”
As I look around at these amazing children we spend our days with, and listen to them interact with each other, I can see the basis of her comment… This is the time for ideas like Anti-Bullying to take root! These children readily absorb what they are taught and integrate it into their lives. As their parents and their teachers we are collectively sending these messages to the children all the time: be kind, take care of each other, your voice is important, if something is bothering you use your words and tell someone so we can help you… the list goes on. We are all excited to spend the week focussing on the strength of these messages and how, even as young children, they can be empowered to prevent bullying from starting.
If you are interested in more information about Pink Shirt Day, check out their website at: http://www.pinkshirtday.ca/ and, as the website states, “on February 23, 2011 we encourage all of you to wear something pink to symbolize that we as a society will not tolerate bullying anywhere.”