“Let your smile change the world. But don’t let the world change your smile.” – Connor Franta
As you were going through your day today, did you see a lot of pink? Today is Pink Shirt Day, a day in which we take time to raise awareness and stand up to bullying. By wearing pink today, we are supporting our fellow colleagues, classmates, and community members and saying no to bullying. Wearing pink also ensures that we make a commitment to continue to make our schools, workplaces and communities a safer place to live, work and play.
When I was reflecting on today and the importance of Pink Shirt Day, I found it so hard to think that one in five kids today experience or are affected by bullying. This number is staggering, and sadly the bullying doesn’t end once you graduate from high school. Bullying occurs every day in the work force, in the home and in our communities. As adults and members of our community we have an important role to ensure that we do everything that we can to prevent bullying and the first step starts with recognizing that bullying occurs every day in all kinds of different settings. Once we can recognize it we then need to talk about it and look for solutions. The only way things can get better is if we work together to do better for our kids, our family, our friends, our co-workers and our neighbours.
Today I had the honour, along with the City of Warman Student Council Representative Emily Zunti and City Clerk Brittany Hadley, to visit two classes of grade two students at the Warman Elementary. I was so impressed to see these young citizens of Warman wearing and understanding the importance of their pink shirts. The youth of our community are our future and I am so proud to see the effort they put in to ensuring that we say no to bullying. The class visit also got me thinking about the parents of these children, and the tough job they have to ensure their kids are safe from all of the effects of bullying. Parenting is a tough job, and bullying can make it seem overwhelming. It is important, whether a parent or not, to have to conversations with those around you about what bullying is and what it is not. It is also critical that we continue to be aware and recognize when bullying is occurring and this starts by understanding signs such as behavioural or emotional changes in those around you.
We live in a time where there are many different forms of bullying, whether it be verbal, social, physical or cyber bullying. We need to take a stand, not just today, but every day to ensure that we are part of the solution to end bullying. Change starts with each of us - let’s understand, let’s care more, and be kinder to each other.
“The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority."