Statistics show that when bystanders intervene, 50 per cent of bullying can end within 10 seconds. This encouraging statistic fuels the passion behind the annual anti-bullying campaign Pink Shirt Day, encouraging British Columbians to show their support by wearing pink to symbolize zero-tolerance for bullying.
The original event was organized by David Shepherd and Travis Price of Berwick, Nova Scotia, who in 2007 bought and distributed 50 pink shirts after male ninth grade student Charles McNeill was bullied for wearing a pink shirt during the first day of school.
In Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald proclaimed the second Thursday of September “Stand Up Against Bullying Day” in recognition of these events.
In 2008, the then Premier of British Columbia, Gordon Campbell proclaimed February 27 to be the provincial anti-bullying day. Starting in 2009 it was then celebrated on February 25, and that year Boys and Girls Clubs worked on pink T-shirts that say “Bullying Stops Here.” and “Pink Shirt Day” for Anti-Bullying Day.
In 2012, The United Nations took a stand in the Anti-Bullying campaign and declared May 4 as Anti-Bullying Day.
Anti-Bullying Day was instituted to prevent further bullying. Statistics (from the U.S.) show that one out of four kids will be bullied during their adolescence. Most of the time it continues after the first incident; statistics show that 71 per cent of students that are bullied, keep being bullied making it a problem with no end. According to the Yale School of Medicine, a study in 2010 discovered a connection between being bullied and suicide. The term to describe this is “Bullycide” where someone who is bullied commits suicide as a result. Suicide rates show they continue to grow among children and adolescents by more than 50 per cent in the last 30 years.
If everyone joins in raising awareness about bullying this statistic can be lowered. Join in anti-bullying events throughout the year, including; Tune it Out, Blue Shirt World Day of Bullying Prevention, National Bullying Awareness Month, and Pink Shirt Day.
Most importantly, if you are aware of a bullying situation, or you yourself are being bullied, speak to an authority figure or parent. Waiting will not make the bullying go away, in fact in may get worse.
Yes, we can all help to make a difference – start today!