All across the province, Albertans wore pink Wednesday to celebrate Pink Shirt Day.
Pink Shirt Day started in Nova Scotia in 2007, when two students started a protest, by wearing pink in support of another student who was being bullied for wearing pink.
Since then, the idea has gained worldwide recognition and students in Red Deer and across central Alberta participated in the anti-bullying initiative on Feb. 24.
Mayor of Sylvan Lake Sean McIntyre also donned a pink shirt in support of the cause Wednesday, saying that he was bullied for years and hopes he can help be part of the solution.
“I would have loved for someone (anyone) to stand in solidarity with me. Today, I’m glad to be able to do just that,” McIntyre wrote in a Facebook post.
“Bullying is not limited to the schoolyard. There are plenty of adults who carry on with patterns of abusive behaviour. There are lessons we can all learn, regardless of our age, about how to respect each other. Fundamentally, Pink Shirt Day is about people (not just shirts) standing together against bullying, instead of standing alone.”
Alberta Minister of Community and Social Services Rajan Sawhney added in a statement that she hopes to promote an honest conversation about bullying in the community.
“Putting an end to bullying begins with awareness,” she said.
“We must recognize different forms of bullying and identify the warning signs and impacts. We must understand the role of the bystander, and know what resources are available to help.”
For anyone experiencing bullying, help is available by calling the Bullying Helpline at 1-888-456-2323 or through the online chat, available at alberta.ca/BullyingChat.