Pink Shirt Day
Working together to stop bullying by celebrating diversity and promoting positive social relationships.
What is the impact of harassment and bullying (including cyber bullying online) in our culture?
- At least 1 in 3 adolescent students in Canada have reported being bullied recently.
- 40% of Canadian workers experience bullying on a weekly basis.
I am grateful for those two young men who stood up publicly at their Canadian high school in 2007 to support a grade 9 student who wore a pink t-shirt. Fourteen years later, across our nation and the world, February 24 is designated annually whereby we can focus on taking a stand against the injustice of harassment and bullying.
Pink Shirt Day is about working together to stop bullying by celebrating diversity and promoting positive social relationships. It’s about creating a community where all people feel safe, valued and respected, regardless of age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, or cultural background.
- The one who has been bullied
- The one who is the bully
- Having witnessed or made aware of the injustice or harassment against the victim(s)
As you reflect on each category, here are some further considerations:
- You may have been the recipient and are still struggling with the unfortunate experience(s); the issue may not simply go away as it can affect your self-esteem and have a negative impact on your future.
Forget about the wrong things people do to you. Don’t try to get even. Love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:19)
May I encourage you to forgive them (aggressors) and release them from taking up any more of your precious thinking time. They do not deserve any further control that you have allowed them to have over your mind and life. Leave the guilty ones and the issue at the cross with Jesus. He will give you the strength and peace to overcome whatever you have gone through.
Christ’s wonderful love can heal us from any wounds that we have experienced. If you are tired of battling and fighting on your own, consider trusting Christ to fight your battles — he does a better job at it than we could ever do.
The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalms 34:15-18)
“All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:11-13)
If you have been the one instigating this type of harassment and injustice — please STOP.
Most likely, readers may skip this section, saying to oneself, “I am not a bully.” May the Lord bring to our minds if there was ever a time that we may have been guilty of such. God is able to forgive us of any wrong doings. Simply agree with God that what you did was wrong and repent. Accept His love and forgiveness, and walk in freedom. Consider contacting the individual(s), letting them know that you are sorry, and ask their forgiveness also.
- Perhaps you see yourself simply as a bystander and you are asking yourself, what can I do about it?
Please read the story of these two young boys from a high school in Nova Scotia, Canada who decided, enough is enough! Travis Price and David Sheppard made a difference that day!
If you are a student or staff of TWU and would like further help in any of the above categories, please contact the TWU Wellness Center.
Let’s continue working together as a TWU community to expose all forms of harassment and bullying, and drive it out from our blessed community.
 Molcho M., Craig W., Due P., Pickett W., Harel-fisch Y., Overpeck, M., and HBSC Bullying Writing Group. Cross-national time trends in bullying behaviour 1994-2006: findings from Europe and North America. International Journal of Public Health. 2009, 54 (S2): 225-234.
 Lee R.T., and Brotheridge C.M. “When prey turns predatory: Workplace bullying as predictor of counteragression / bullying, coping, and well-being”. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. 2006, 00 (0): 1-26.
 The story of Pink Shirt Day from co-founder Travis Price: https://www.kelownanow.com/news/news/World_News/17/02/22/The_story_of_Pink_Shirt_Day_from_co_founder_Travis_Price/
Dr. Derrick Mohamed is Assistant Professor of Leadership and Assistant Dean of Leadership (Faculty Development) at TWU Richmond. He was born in Pointe-a-Pierre, in Trinidad and Tobago. He has also lived in Toronto, O.N. and Calgary, A.B. He currently resides in Langley, B.C.