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

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

TV star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Port Alberni Toy Run launches new fundraiser for 2020

Toy Run teddy bears will help replace funds lost due to COVID-19 changes

Missing Port Alberni man found deceased

47-year-old had been missing since late June: RCMP

Longtime volunteer retires from Port Alberni’s Abbeyfield House

Doreen Bissette honoured for two decades of volunteerism

Savard prevails with best gross score at Alberni Golf Club

Men’s club prepares for ‘waltz’ on July 12

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

Minivan driver’s speed a factor in fatal 2018 Malahat crash

Driver was travelling at 110 km/h in a construction zone

Comox Valley RCMP looking for missing woman

Ami Guthrie was last seen in Courtenay in early July

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Most Read