The Boys and Girls Club of Brantford organizes Pink T-shirt Day every year. In a letter to Mayor Chris Friel and the city council from last November, the Boys and Girls Club requested that the city of Brantford proclaim February 27 as Pink Shirt Day in Brantford in an effort to bring community support.
Waterous Holden Amey Hitchon, a local law firm, showed support for the campaign by buying pink shirts from the Boys and Girls Club for their staff.
MyRespect, a Laurier Brantford committee, also organized a Pink Shirt Day campaign for students on campus.
Pink Shirt Day began with student activism. A few years ago, a group of high school students in Nova Scotia decided to wear pink shirts in support of a boy who was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school.
According to a survey by the Centre for Mental Health and Addictions, 29 per cent of students in Ontario between the ages of 7-12 have experienced bullying. Also, 21 per cent of girls said they had experienced bullying and had contemplated suicide.
Bullying is a repeated negative action towards a person or group often rooted in discrimination. It can take various forms from physical abuse to exclusion and cyber-bullying. Bullying is linked to symptoms such as sleep disorders, anxiety, stress and feeling helpless in addition to physical pain. In severe cases, it can result in suicide.
Awareness campaigns allow for open dialogue on the issue. The aim is to raise awareness about bullying, discrimination and homophobia.
Laurier Brantford’s Rainbow Alliance and MyRespect are hosting Diversity in the Classroom Part Two on March 16, to further the fight against bullying.