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Erase bullying, wear pink on Feb. 24

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 1:43 PST, Tue February 23, 2021

The anti-bullying message for #PinkShirtDay tomorrow is clear: we need to lift each other up.

But in a time when most everything else in the past year has been done a little differently, Pink Shirt Day will also be a little unique at Westwind elementary this year: instead of the traditional pink shirt, this year a white shirt has been created with the slogan “Lift Each Other Up” to promote the overall message of kindness on more than just Pink Shirt Day.

The City of Richmond is fully on board with the call to erase bullying. Whether on Zoom calls, at school, checking in on friends online, or just hanging around the house or home office, council encourages everyone to wear pink on Feb. 24 to raise awareness of bullying prevention.

“Join others on Erase Bullying Day to raise public awareness and pledge to be part of the solution,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “Wearing pink represents your commitment to a respectful city and not tolerating bullying on this or any other day of the year.”

While Erase Bullying Day events around the city are limited this year, Richmond facilities and staff are offering the following ways of showing and encouraging kindness. 

• Window displays will be created at Cambie, City Centre, Hamilton, Steveston, Thompson and West Richmond community centres

• Facilities and outdoor public spaces will be decorated at Cambie, City Centre, South Arm and Thompson community centres

• Richmond Fire-Rescue duty crews will be wearing pink epaulettes on their uniform on Feb. 24

• Social media messaging will be posted about kindness, connection, celebrating diversity and embracing each other’s differences.

Erase bullying is an Education Ministry strategy, empowering youth stakeholders to advocate for education free from discrimination, bullying, harassment, intimidation and violence. Each young person has a right to feel safe, accepted and respected.

Further to Pink Shirt Day, a prominent retailer is also continuing its long-standing partnership.

“London Drugs has been the retail partner for Pink Shirt Day since it first launched 14 years ago,” said Clint Mahlman, London Drugs president and chief operating officer. “Through our customers’ generosity, we have raised $1.8 million for the CKNW Kids Fund, assisting various anti-bullying efforts across Western Canada. This year’s merchandise offers new items including a Pink Shirt Day mask to spread this powerful and inspiring message.”

The latest statistics from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research indicate that 47 per cent of Canadian parents report having a child who is a victim of bullying. The most common types of bullying experienced by youth today are verbal, social, physical, or cyber. And with everyone moving to online activities and courses there is an increased risk for cyber-bullying making it the most common form of bullying.

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