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We asked local students: What does Pink Shirt Day mean to you?

Pink Shirt Day, the annual anti-bullying campaign, is set to take place tomorrow. We asked local students what Pink Shirt Day means to them. Here are some of their responses.
pink shirt day

Pink Shirt Day, the annual anti-bullying campaign, is set to take place tomorrow. We asked local students what Pink Shirt Day means to them. Here are some of their responses.

Parnian Ashraft, Grade 7
École Pauline Johnson

Pink Shirt Day is a day when everyone is accepted and valued as they are. No one should be judging a person by what they wear or where they were born because each person is unique. Pink Shirt Day celebrates and embraces the differences that each person has and teaches us not to make fun of one another because being mean is not OK.

This is also a day to celebrate friendships and kindness. It is a day when we can support those who have been bullied. We can connect with one another and talk about bullying and how we can stop it. We learn to be brave and kind. In my opinion, Pink Shirt Day shares different messages with different people. Its message to me is that anyone can make a positive change.

It also inspires me to stand against bullies and make closer bonds with my classmates. It has made a positive change in our world by letting us empathize with each other. Now it’s your turn to make the positive change!

Razaan Lalji, Grade 6
École Pauline Johnson

Pink Shirt Day is when many people worldwide wear pink shirts to prevent bullying. It’s a day to recognize those who are bullied and to stand up for them. On this day, we all stand united to stop bullying by wearing a pink shirt or a pink button to give recognition to this very serious problem.

One individual who I feel really represents this day is an amazing person named Lizzie Velasquez. She was born with a condition where she never weighed more than 64 pounds and started losing her sight at the age of four. She was bullied since her childhood and has said she felt like a monster. She was named The World’s Ugliest Woman on a YouTube video.

She didn’t know how she would recover but she did graduate with a degree in communications and became a motivational speaker and anti-bullying activist.

I am so inspired by Lizzie’s story (and other stories like hers) for overcoming incredible obstacles in their lives and using that experience to help others in similar situations. I have made a decision to follow these role models and make a difference. How am I going to make a difference? I will stand up for anyone I see getting bullied. I will never encourage or be part of bullying because I know that I can do better. I believe that if each of us does our part in our daily lives to stop bullying, we can collectively change our thinking so it will no longer be cool to bully anymore.

Hopefully our anti-bullying actions, such as kindness and being accepting of others, will reduce the sad consequences of bullying such as suicide, depression, and dropping out of school.

Kaylena Wong, Grade 7
Westview elementary

Pink Shirt Day to me is a very important day because it is a time when we come together in unity against bullying to show that it is an unacceptable action in every community. 

I think that having this day as an annual event is vital to letting the victims of bullying know that their community is standing by their side, supporting them, as well as their relatives and close friends. 

My hope is that more people will take bullying seriously because from what I have learned from my teachers, from listening to the news and from others, bullying can have many negative impacts on the people who are being intimidated. I believe that there should be more anti-bullying activities, not just in schools or downtown, but within each community in order to educate and influence those who are less sensitive to others, which will help fill our world with people who are more understanding and compassionate. For me, making sure that bullying doesn’t happen at my school is extremely important because I want everyone to look forward to coming to school, and feel excited about learning and seeing their friends rather than being afraid because someone might threaten them. It is crucial to have strong relationships and healthy friendships.

Sadly, we often hear about cases of “bullycide” through the news. The term, “bullycide” is used to describe the combination of being bullied, resulting in committing suicide. When the bullying goes too far, it may cause depression, switching the victims’ mindsets about themselves.  Help prevent this from happening, to stop the action before it gets worse! I encourage you to help make others aware of the purpose of Pink Shirt Day, which is to realize that every individual has the ability to do something positive for others. We can start by simply making Pink Shirt Day a day that is important and meaningful to you, just as it is to me.

Kaylena Wong
Kaylena Wong - photo Mike Wakefield, North Shore News