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 in Victoria

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Loss of UVic dog park deals a blow to socially anxious pets

Owners of non-socialized dogs seek safe space following closure of Cedar Hill Corner

Residents around Sidney’s Reay Creek Pond welcome federal remediation efforts

It is not clear yet whether Sidney will renovate nearby dam at the same time

Public to weigh in on Colwood Royal Bay development Monday

Application to rezone lands north of Latoria Boulevard submitted to council

Camp fun still offered in Greater Victoria

Easter Seals offers day camp options to replace cancelled overnight camps

Swim advisory issued at Cadboro Bay beach due to high bacteria levels

Island Health advises against water activities, swimming

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Most Read