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Why We Need Pink Shirt Day


February 25 is still a ways away, but I already have your top matched out for you: a pink shirt. You see, February 25 is Pink Shirt Day, an anti-bullying event that’s been gaining steam. Craig and Marc Kielburger, co-founders of Demi Lovato’s beloved foundation Free the Children, wrote all about it at Huffington Post.

17-year-old Travis Price was one of the people who started Pink Shirt Day, and he spoke at Free the Children’s We Day event in Vancouver. “When an ordinary bystander steps up for someone in need, they’re shining the bat signal for that one person,” he said. “We might not be able to save the world, but we can each save one person, change their day and give them a glimmer of hope that someone cares.”

How did all this get started? A boy in Travis’s school showed up to class in a pink shirt and was bullied for it. This is a pretty typical example of gender policing: you know, boys are “supposed” to wear blue and girls are “supposed” to wear pink.

So what happened? Travis and his friend David Shepherd staged a mass bullying protest — by getting 800 students to wear pink shirts in solidarity with the bullied student! This led to the creation of Pink Shirt Day, which we hope will get bigger and better each year.

“Studies show that group behaviour can be drastically shifted when just one person expresses a different opinion,” Craig and Marc wrote. “What’s more, a well-known research paper by Canadian bullying experts D. Lynn Hawkins, Wendy Craig and Debra Pepler found that bullying most often stops in less than 10 seconds when a peer intervenes on behalf of the victim.”

How pink is your school going to get this February?