Pink Shirt Day arrives on Feb 22.
The annual event calls on Canadians to stand up against bullying and harassment, and area leaders have joined the chorus of voices advocating for kindness and inclusivity.
Fraser-Cascade School District 78 superintendent Balan Moorthy said the district always aims to have built an inclusive culture for students of all ages and walks of life. Some of the plans of action include focusing on the social-emotional well-being of students and “continually reviewing and refining our inclusive education model to better meet the needs of our students,” breaking down physical, social and curricular barriers.
“We work hard to keep our schools safe and respectful for all students and families,” Moorthy stated.
Schools throughout SD78 hold Pink Shirt Day events every year.
Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon said Pink Shirt Day is a great reminder for Canadians to always be inclusive and open-minded.
“veryone deserves to be treated with kindness and respect. Kids in our province have been through so much in the past few years, and their resilience has been amazing,” Paddon stated. “They have really been there for each other and so have their families and educators. Unfortunately, bullying still happens and that’s why it’s so important that we are encouraging and teaching children, and people of all ages, to accept and include one another.”
Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon MP Brad Vis touted Pink Shirt Day as a symbol and shining example of positive impact when Canadians stand up against bullying.
“Started by two students who refused to be bystanders, they chose to wear pink in support of the boy being bullied for his clothing choices,” Vis stated. “Today, Pink Shirt Day is a powerful call to be true to ourselves and empower others to do the same. Together we have the power to end bullying in our schools and communities. Say no to bullying.”
Pink Shirt Day is held on the last Wednesday of every February in Canada; it has also been observed in countries all over the world, including China, Japan, New Zealand and Panama. Last year, donations and other displays of support for Pink Shirt Day – which funds anti-bullying initiatives – came in from nearly 180 countries.