Is Pink Shirt Day Making a Difference?
Prince George, B.C. – If you have a pink shirt in your wardrobe, you’re encouraged to put it on today for national pink shirt day.
“Wear it as a kind of promise to help strike-out bullying,” says Big Brothers Big Sisters executive director Tim Bennett. “Here locally, the last couple of weeks, we’ve been selling pink shirts in partnership with Save-On-Foods and Canadian Tire with all the proceeds helping support our local mentoring programs.”
He says mentoring is one of the most effective ways to help combat bullying.
“It’s an effective solution for both children that are being bullied but also for children who are bully’s. Providing a positive role-model helps build a child’s self-esteem and self confidence to really give them the skills to identify that bullying is wrong.”
Increasing awareness is great, but is pink shirt day making a difference?
“I think that’s a great question.We hear stories each and everyday that are just extremely heartbreaking and I wish that I could say that tomorrow we’re going to effectively strike-out bullying in Prince George and the country but I think there’s still a long way to go.”
Bennett admits one of the toughest challenges has been the advent of social media.
“It wasn’t that long ago that I was in school and social media just wasn’t a thing. And now it is so easy with things like Facebook, Yik Yak, and Ask that allow you the ability to be anonymous,” he says.
“And we need to be able to teach everybody that just because you have the ability to be anonymous, doesn’t mean you need to abuse that ability.”
One organization that plans to show its support for bullying awareness today is the Prince George RCMP.
“Bullying is something we take very seriously, we are in support of pink shirt day and any anti-bullying type program,” says Corporal Craig Douglass. “And to support pink shirt day our staffers at the detachment will be wearing pink shirts as well as our leaders.”