The 13th annual Pink Shirt Day took place on Feb. 25, with students and politicians gathering at the B.C. Parliament Buildings to say no to bullying. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

An entire generation of B.C. students have now graduated high school having participated in Pink Shirt Day yearly and on Wednesday, students across the province came together to share positivity and kindness and say no to bullying for the 13th year in a row.

Pink Shirt Day was inspired by an act of kindness that came out of small-town Nova Scotia in 2007. David Shepherd, Travis Price and their friends organized a high school protest to wear pink to school in sympathy with a grade nine boy who was being bullied for wearing a pink shirt. Since then, the movement has grown across Canada and to other countries.

Since 2008, net proceeds of over $2.3 million have been distributed to support anti-bullying programs in B.C. and throughout Western Canada.

The B.C. government has also proclaimed Feb. 26, 2020 as Diversity and Acceptance Day, highlighting the government’s commitment to ensuring a safe and inclusive province.

READ ALSO: Pink Shirt Day a reminder to ‘T.H.I.N.K,’ before posting on social media

On Wednesday, students from local Victoria schools as well as politicians and community members gathered at the B.C. Parliament Buildings to partake in the day. They were dressed in pink shirts with a rocket ship on them and the phase “lift each other up” which is this year’s theme for Pink Shirt Day.

Premier John Horgan, Minister of Education Rob Fleming and other MLAs were joined by transgender advocate Tru Wilson, parent and founder of the Amanda Todd Legacy Society Carol Todd and Travis Price, co-founder of Pink Shirt Day.

“For me this has turned into so many things but I think above all else it’s turned into an opportunity to continue the conversation … to remind us every single day that kids are affected by bullying,” Price said. “It puts the pressure on each and every one of us in this room to say we no longer want to see this.”

READ ALSO: On Pink Shirt Day, province announces $160,000 for online safety sessions

Fleming said the province’s Erase program continues to provide students with tools and resources to support their well-being. Erase is a comprehensive resource to better represent issues facing youth and their communities today. Some priority areas in the program include a focus on social media and online safety, mental health and wellness, substance use, gang prevention and supporting students of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

“We all have a responsibility to combat bullying whether it’s online, whether it’s in our homes, whether it’s in our communities or our schools,” Fleming said.

According to the Ministry of Education, the 2018 Adolescent Health Survey shows that 14 per cent of B.C. students had been cyberbullied in 2018. Fifty-four per cent of B.C.’s gay and lesbian high school students report experiencing discrimination because of their sexual orientation.

At the B.C. Parliament Buildings, Wilson, a 16-year-old transgender advocate, emphasized the importance of having someone around for support.

“Even if you think that you’re all alone, like I once did, there’s always someone there for you,” Wilson said. “There’s always someone there to lift you up from the ground.”

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Pink Shirt Day

 

The 13th annual Pink Shirt Day took place on Feb. 25, with students and politicians gathering at the B.C. Parliament Buildings to say no to bullying. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

The 13th annual Pink Shirt Day took place on Feb. 25, with students and politicians gathering at the B.C. Parliament Buildings to say no to bullying. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

The 13th annual Pink Shirt Day took place on Feb. 25, with students and politicians gathering at the B.C. Parliament Buildings to say no to bullying. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Just Posted

Hospital chief of staff provides a COVID-19 update; face coverings available for free starting this weekend

Vigilance needed; face coverings soon to be available throughout valley

Invermere mayor says bill payments can wait and asks visitors to please stay home

Al Miller provides an update on the District of Invermere and COVID-19.

Social distancing for wildlife, please

Outdoor photographers urge humans not to get too close to local wildlife.

RCMP and COVID-19 orders

Weekly Columbia Valley RCMP report

DTSS calls for self-isolation yearbook photo submissions

DTSS seeking photos of students doing their favourite self-isolation activities

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Sanders drops 2020 bid, leaving Biden as likely nominee

Sanders plans to talk to his supporters later Wednesday

B.C. faith leaders, Horgan discuss need for virtual religious ceremonies

Leaders were open to providing other ways to celebrate during the pandemic

Most Read