Yesterday (Feb. 23) was Anti-Bullying Day (a.k.a. Pink T-Shirt Day) in Canada.
The day originated in Nova Scotia in 2007, after a ninth-grader was bullied for wearing a pink t-shirt on the first day of that school year.
Two Grade 12 students from the same school heard about the bullying incident and took it upon themselves to stand up for the younger student.
They bought 50 pink shirts to distribute, went online to advise their classmates of their intentions, and the next day, the school was turned into a veritable “sea of pink” by students, who had decided enough was enough and it was time to take a stand against bullying.
Since that day, Anti-Bullying/Pink T-Shirt Day has become a worldwide phenomenon.
Bullying is a major problem not only in schools, but also in workplaces, at home, and particularly over the Internet.
The power of online posting, especially when done anonymously, has led to a new age in bullying not experienced by those who grew up in a pre-internet generation. Users of popular social media sites such as Reddit and Facebook have taken bullying to a whole new level.
But there is some good coming from the web as well.
Canadian sites such as erasebullying.ca and bullying.org offer tips, as well as support, for victims of bullying.
The saddest thing about the phenomenon is that it has come to this.
Bullying is not a genetic disorder. It is taught. It is handed down, from adults to their children.
We are responsible for the bullying going on in society today, and as it worsens, we, the parents, the bosses, the supervisors, are the ones to blame.
Children – people – are products of their environments.
Wearing a pink shirt for a day is great, but it’s what we do the other 364 days of the year that will be the foundation for change.
Yesterday we saw a great show of support for the cause, but let’s see if we can carry the attitude over for the rest of the year.