Bullying is a growing problem in the world today and, every year, people hear of more and more incidents coming up regarding bullying in schools everywhere. And, although it is certainly a problem within schools, bullying doesn’t stop there. It extends to the world outside of school and even into the virtual world of the internet, where young people have created a bit of a world of their own.
Bullying is unpredictable and it doesn’t tend to follow any kind of rhyme or reason. It is merely the exertion of power over those who are weaker or who stand out as unusual. National Pink Day is a day dedicated to beating the bullies and breaking the cycle that creates and perpetuates this damaging behavior inside and outside of schools.
History of National Pink Day
National Pink Day (also sometimes called Pink Shirt Day) was established in 2007 in Nova Scotia, Canada. It happened after a pair of students, David Shepherd and Travis Price, saw one of their fellow students at Central Kings Rural High School being bullied for no other reason than that student was wearing a pink shirt on the first day of school. Because of the association of pink with feminine things, this 9th grade boy was harassed for choosing to wear the color. But his two classmates weren’t going to let the bullies win.
In a stroke of brilliance, these two got together and decided to show support for the student and take a stand against bullying by getting everyone at their school to wear a pink shirt the next day. In fact, the two boys were so committed that they went to a discount store and bought a bunch of pink shirts to pass out for anyone who didn’t already have one. Pink Shirt Day was created to stomp out all bullying and spread understanding, and it’s a concept spreading throughout the world.
What started in a small corner of Canada has become something of a world event. The day has also been associated with Anti-Bullying day, another day when the idea is to stand up for others and wear pink. While the United Nations has made a declaration that this should happen on May 4, people in many countries still celebrate in February. But, that just means that there can be two different opportunities to make a difference and stand against bullying!
National Pink Day Timeline
Early 20th Century
Pink is used for baby boys more than girls
While in the future, boys might get teased for wearing pink, during the 1900s-1930s, it is considered completely appropriate for a baby boy to wear pink and for a girl to wear blue. It isn’t until later in the century that this will flip.
First National Pink Day (Pink Shirt Day) begins
Two students take a stand against bullying against a student in 9th grade in Nova Scotia, Canada who was teased for wearing a pink shirt on the first day of school. They respond by buying dozens of pink shirts and handing them out for everyone to wear the next day.
National Pink Day is celebrated in New Zealand
As word gets out, National Pink Day begins gaining traction and makes its way to the southern hemisphere. Other countries all over the world quickly follow suit.
United Nations declares official Anti-Bullying Day
Although the date isn’t the same as the original Pink Day, the heart of the matter certainly aligns. Instead of February, the UN declares May 4th as an International Anti-Bullying Day.
National Pink Day passes the $2.5 million mark in donations
Keeping in line with their origins of anti-bullying efforts, National Pink Day started raising money in 2008. It continues to support the efforts that have helped more than 59,000 youth and children, and will keep on going!
How to Celebrate National Pink Day
Getting on board and connected on this day is super easy and it all starts with wearing pink! Here are some other ideas for ways to celebrate this important day:
Wear Something Pink
Start the day by picking out a favorite pink garment and putting it on, especially for those who are male-bodied persons. Whether it’s just a pink t-shirt, a pink polo shirt, or an entire zoot suit made completely in pink–wear it! Get out there and take a stand against bigotry wherever it is found by making sure the offenders know that their calls will not go unanswered.
Teach Kids About Bullying
The more educated and informed kids (and parents!) are about bullying, the better equipped they will be to respond and to stand up, whether for themselves or someone else who is being picked on. Several organizations have been created that provide resources to help enlighten and educate families about bullying. Some of these organization include:
- STOMP Out Bullying. Standing up against hate, racism and discrimination, this influential organziation has a help line for kids and teens, resources for parents and kids, options for donating, and ways to buy wearable merchandise to support the cause. stompoutbullying.org
- National Association of People Against Bullying (NAPAB). This group provides personal advocacy and support for those who have experienced problems with bullying. They also offer education for students, parents and educators, as well as an anti-bullying club that meets across the nation (called Cool 2B Kind). www.napab.org
- Kind Campaign. Bringing awareness and healing for those affected by girl-against-girl bullying, as well as working to stop bullying. It’s a global movement that has made a documentary as well as offering educational curriculums and in-school assemblies. Girls can also buy merch online and start their own Kind Club. kindcampaign.com
- Stop Bullying. This is a combined effort between US government organizations including the education department, justice department and health and human services department. They offer resources and information as well as tools and guides for identification and prevention. They also offer an online bullying prevention training course. stopbullying.gov
Help Out in a Bullying Situation
This isn’t just for National Pink Day, but is a life lesson for every day. Those who happen to see or witness someone getting bullied or harassed should be sure to walk up to them and help them out. Don’t let them believe that they are alone in the world. National Pink Day is a day to stand up against the injustice of harassment and bullying, especially against minorities and those of the LGBTQ community.
Those who have ever been bullied in the past know how important it can be to have someone stand up and try to offer support. On National Pink Day, it’s possible to stand up for everyone with a simple wardrobe choice.
Spread the Word About National Pink Day
Since National Pink Day is still a fairly recent occurrence, and it affects kids who might not know about it yet, this is a great day to tell everyone about these anti-bullying efforts. Tell friends about National Pink Day in advance, and then make plans for what to wear and how to honor the day. Take a selfie or a photo of friends wearing pink and share it on various social media platforms to get the word out to everyone.
Throw a National Pink Day Party
School teachers and parents can show their support by allowing students to have a party in celebration of National Pink Day. This is an ideal day to get everyone involved in working toward eliminating the struggles faced by so many kids today. Have everyone wear a pink shirt in support of the day, decorate the party room in pink balloons and streamers, and even serve pink colored foods.
A great activity would be to watch a documentary or video put out by some of the anti-bullying resources listed above. Or have the kids create some unique artwork by using art supplies that are exclusively pink, then put them on display in a cool anti-bullying art show that everyone can enjoy.