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

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Firefighters put out structure fire on Dockside Way in Nanaimo

Incident happened just after 5 p.m. in detached building close to house

Nanaimo sheep farmer voices fears over flung dog feces

Deborah Wytinck worries parasites in dog feces tossed into pasture could infect her sheep

UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP now unsure what vehicle missing teen and man may be travelling in

Mary Cyprich, 17, missing since Thurday, believed to be in company of Force Forsythe, 36

Nanaimo school district to develop learning plan to account for COVID-19

Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district superintendent advises parents keep kids at home

Firefighters put out structure fire on Dockside Way in Nanaimo

Incident happened just after 5 p.m. in detached building close to house

Nanaimo doctors asking for donations of masks and gloves during COVID-19 fight

Nanaimo Division of Family Practice co-ordinating efforts to collect supplies

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Most Read