Wednesday, Feb. 24 is 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 to school 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 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 fateful day, Anti-Bullying/Pink T-Shirt Day has become a worldwide phenomenon.
Bullying is a major problem not only in schools, but also at 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.
Popular social media sites like Reddit and Facebook have taken bullying to a whole new level.
But there is some good coming from the World Wide Web as well.
Canadian sites like erasebullying.ca 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 as a whole – are a product of their environment.
Wearing a pink shirt for a day is great, but it’s what we do the other 364 days of the year that is the foundation of that environment.
So, celebrate on Wednesday. But carry the attitude over for the rest of the year. It’s the only way things will ever change.
Perhaps someday we won’t have to run this editorial… but we’re not there yet.