Whistler Secondary students celebrate Pink Shirt Day 

Annual event takes a stand against bullying

click to enlarge PHOTO BY CLARE OGILVIE - TAKING A STAND Students at Whistler Secondary celebrate Pink Shirt Day.
  • Photo by Clare Ogilvie
  • TAKING A STAND Students at Whistler Secondary celebrate Pink Shirt Day.

It's Pink Shirt Day in British Columbia.

Since 2008 the worldwide anti-bullying campaign has been recognized annually in the province.

Students at Whistler Secondary School (WSS) took part in an assembly and workshop on Wednesday, Feb. 25 to recognize the day.

In an email to Pique, WSS teacher John Hall said Pink Shirt Day is meant "to make clear, public statements that bullying is a form of violence and is not OK, to promote tolerance for differences (and) especially to promote the acceptance of different backgrounds and sexualities in youth."

Hall said there has also been an advertising campaign including posters and announcements going on at the school.

He hopes the students of WSS can take away "at least the recognition of difference and increased tolerance of letting others be who they are...

"When they ask me about the word intolerance — because they think it's negative to 'tolerate' someone — I explain that tolerance is the act of acceptance even when you're not quite comfortable with someone else's difference," Hall said.

Judging from what he hears from colleagues across the province, Hall said he doesn't think B.C. has a serious bullying issue, but he said kids do experience it here.

"If you get treated badly, don't let it go. Talk to a teacher or principal, talk in private if you need to, find those you can trust," he said.

"Never stay silent, also never, never be a bystander. If you see bullying happening, do something."

Pink Shirt Day originated in 2007, after two Nova Scotia teens handed out pink shirts at school when a classmate was bullied for wearing one.

B.C. adopted the practice the following year.

In 2012, the United Nations declared May 4 as the official, worldwide Pink Shirt Day, which is now celebrated in more than 25 countries.

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