What is Pink Shirt Day?

Pink T-Shirt Day, the third Wednesday in February, is a date each year when Canadians are asked to take a stand against bullying. On this day, everyone is encouraged to wear something pink to symbolize that we as a society will not tolerate bullying anywhere.

Why a Pink T-Shirt? The idea comes from two amazing Nova Scotia high school students in 2007. When a fellow Grade 9 male student was being bullied for wearing a pink shirt, they decided to take a stand. They went out and bought pink T-shirts to give to all boys in their school and organized a “pink shirt protest day” to show their support for the boy who was being bullied.

Pink T-Shirt Day is about working together and treating others with respect and dignity. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all and shown the importance of helping one another and advocating for those who need it. It also reminds us of the importance of support programs that encourage healthy self esteem and teach empathy, compassion and kindness.

Bullying is a form of aggression where there is a power imbalance; the person doing the bullying has power over the person being victimized. In additional to any physical trauma incurred, bullying can result in serious emotional problems, including anxiety, low self-esteem, depression and in some extreme cases, even suicide. Bullying is doing, saying or acting in a way that hurts someone else or makes him or her feel bad on purpose. Some kinds of bullying include:

  • Verbal (name-calling)

  • Physical (punching, pushing)

  • Social (leaving someone out of a group on purpose)

  • Extortion (stealing someone's money or belongings)

  • Cyberbullying (using computers, the Internet, mobile phones, etc. to bully others)

Bullying is a major problem in our schools, workplaces, homes, and online. In Canada, at least 1 in 3 adolescent students have reported being bullied. Studies have found bullying occurs once every seven minutes on the playground and once every 25 minutes in the classroom.

As more and more seniors live in assisted-living facilities and nursing homes, there is a rising trend of peer-to-peer bullying, which is bullying by other residents.

In the majority of cases, bullying stops within 10 seconds when peers intervene, or do not support the bullying behaviour. It is so important that victims of bullying know they are not alone and there is help and support available.

If you are being bullied: Walk away, tell someone you trust, take the initiative to get help. You do not need to live in silence and endure your pain alone.

If you see someone being bullied: Tell someone, move toward or next to the victim, shout “Stop”, and lead the victim away from the situation.

If you are the bully: Talk to a teacher/counsellor, put yourself in the victim’s shoes, stop the cycle, think before you act.


Any child or teenager or their family can reach out to BullyingCanada 24/7 for support, information and resources by telephone at: 877-352-4497, or by email: support@bullyingcanada.ca.

Reach out and call Kids Help Phone, 1-800-668-6868, or go to https://kidshelpphone.ca/

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