People clad in pink T-shirts this week have more to say than a mere fashion statement – they’re out to take a stand against bullying.
Pink Shirt Day, on Wednesday, Feb. 26, has its origins in 2007 after a pair of students at a Nova Scotia high school distributed pink-coloured shirts to fellow students after one of their peers was bullied for wearing such a shirt.
According to www.bullyingcanada.ca, bullying can involve physically hurting someone, slandering, mocking, excluding and ganging up on others. It can happen via text messaging or through the internet as well.
The anti-bullying cause has been taken up across the globe and unfortunately, the need to speak out against bullies is as relevant today as it was 13 years ago.
Last Thursday, mother Yarraka Bayles posted video on social media of her nine-year-old son Quaden, an Aboriginal Australian with dwarfism. He was crying and stated that he wanted to die as he was continually being bullied. An outpouring of love, support and encouragement followed. Quaden had the chance to lead an indigenous all-star rugby team onto the field and a GoFundMe page raised more than enough money to send him to Disneyland.
Not all bullying victims will get to lead a sports team out on the field, or get a trip to ‘The Happiest Place on Earth,’ but everyone should be able to go through life without being harassed for the way they look, or how tall or short they are, or their complexion, or whom they worship. No one should feel shame for being different.
Bullying can lead to low self-esteem among victims, but according to www.healthdirect.gov.au, a site funded by the Australian government, low self-esteem and being bullied leads people to bully others.
Which is why standing up, and putting an end, to bullying is so important – the vicious circle must end.
And if that happens, we’ll be tickled pink.