Most people know that the now-international Pink Shirt Day campaign started in Canada – in Nova Scotia, to be precise, when a boy was bullied for wearing a pink shirt and David Shepherd and Travis Price brought 50 pink tank tops for their classmates to wear to show support for this boy and to protest bullying. That was 12 years ago. Since then, schools have promoted wearing pink on this one day – February 27, in 2019 – to draw attention to the problem of bullying, and to try to make a difference in stopping it.

The thing is, people wear pink that one day and then forget about it the next Pink Shirt Day, as the LTS Leadership Executive Council (made up from representatives from all our student leadership groups) pointed out at our planning meeting. We decided that we needed to create a greater impact this year, one that would show support for those being bullied and help those who bully to realize the true impact of what they’re doing. (Did you know that statistics show that nearly 40% of youth on social media have been bullied, and 64% have been bullied at school?)

We need to go beyond simply wearing pink. This year, our Leadership Executive wants to Make Pink Day More, both at our school and at others around the district. We want students from all over post their stories about bullying and provide inspiration and support for those being bullied on their preferred social media platforms. We’re using the hashtag #SurreysupportsPINK, and we hope that our messages of hope and connection will reach far beyond our school.

(We didn’t know this at the time, but his year, the focus of the Pink Shirt Day campaign is cyber-bullying. Flooding social media with positive, supportive messages is a great way to remind people to THINK before they post (make sure it is True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary and Kind).)

So this Pink Day, please join us in sharing your stories, support and inspiration to help us make all social media a safe and welcoming space. Let’s show the world that we are together on this, that Surrey students and staff are determined to stand against bullying – and use the hashtags #SurreysupportsPINK and #pinkitforward to spread your positive message.