Pink Shirt Day, or Anti-Bullying Day, is a campaign to promote anti-bullying in schools all over the world.
On Feb. 24, wear a pink shirt to show support of anti-bullying initiatives in B.C. This Pink Shirt Day, the focus is “lift each other up.”
To learn more about Pink Shirt Day, how to get involved and more information about the types of bullying, visit pinkshirtday.ca.
The initiative began when a Grade 9 student in Nova Scotia was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school.
Two other high school students organized a protest with their friends by distributing pink shirts to all the boys in their school.
The initiative has grown and is now supported worldwide. People in almost 180 countries participated in Pink Shirt Day last year.
Canada has the ninth-highest rate of bullying among 13-year-olds, and at least one in three adolescent students have reported being bullied recently, says Statistics Canada.
Bullying comes in many forms, including physical, verbal, social or relational and cyberbullying, and is a form of aggression where there is a power imbalance — the person doing the bullying has power over the one being victimized.
The rate of discrimination experienced among students who identify as LGBTQ is three times higher than heterosexual youth, according to Statistics Canada. Almost half of Canadian parents report their child is a victim of bullying.
Signs of bullying
There are many signs of bullying, and kids may not exhibit them all. Some of the warning signs regarding bullying include unexplainable injuries, lost or destroyed clothing, books electronics or jewelry, frequent headaches or stomach pains, faking illness, change in eating habits (suddenly skipping meals or binge eating), declining grades and self-destructive behaviours such as running away from home. In a majority of cases, bullying stops within seconds when peers intervene or do not support the bullying behaviour.
As a greater number of schools transition to providing lessons, homework and tests on digital devices, students spend much more time online. This connectivity can have positive results but can also open students of all ages up to various dangers. One of those dangers is a more invasive form of bullying called cyberbullying. The global organization DoSomething.org says nearly half of kids have been bullied online, with one in four saying it has happened more than once.
Cyberbullying occurs in many different forms:
Harassment: This generally refers to a constant pattern of hurtful or threatening online messages sent with the intention of doing harm.
Flaming: An online forum or group conversation, achieved by sending angry or insulting messages directly to the person. Similar to harassment, but harassment usually involves privately sent messages.
Outing/Doxing: Sharing of personal and private information about a person publicly.
Trickery: Similar to doxing, but the bully will befriend their target so they feel a false sense of security. Once trust is established, the bully will abuse and share the victims secrets and private information.
Cyberstalking: A serious form of cyberbullying that can extend to threats of physical harm to the child being targeted and can include monitoring, false accusations, and threats, and is often accompanied by offline stalking.
Trolling: A bully seeks to intentionally upset others by posting inflammatory comments online and can be used as a tool to cyberbully when done with malicious and harmful intent. These bullies tend to be more detached and do not have a personal relationship with their victims.
Fraping: Someone logs into another’s social media account and impersonates him or her.
Masquerading: Bullies create fake profiles so they can harass someone anonymously, and is likely someone the targeted person knows well.
Exclusion: Students can be bullied simply by being deliberately left out, such as not being invited to groups or parties while they see others being included, or left out of message threads that involve friends.