Get your pink shirt ready to send the message that "Bullying Stops Here!" Wednesday, February 29/12 is Pink Shirt Day in Canada.
Pink Shirt Day for Anti- Bullying began in February 2008. As a staff, we decided last year that this is a great opportunity for us to open up the dialogue with the children at the daycare and spend the week discussing what bullying means, what we can do to stop it & how we can make others feel good through our words and actions. The children rose to the challenge! We were so impressed by the awareness and compassion these amazing little people displayed. It became clear to us that this needed to be an annual event!
Although I was vaguely familiar with Pink Shirt Day before 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 looked around at these amazing children we spend our days with, and listened to them interact with each other, I could 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. And the understanding the children showed us last year convinced us further- this is the time for the anti-bullying message to take root! 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 on February 29, 2012 we encourage all of you to wear something pink to symbolize that we as a society will not tolerate bullying anywhere.
p.s. official Pink Shirt Day t-shirts are available through their website or at London Drugs, with proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Clubs and CKNW Orphans' Fund to support anti- bullying campaigns.