Anti-Bullying Day is a day when people wear mainly a pink shirt to symbolise a stand against bullying, an idea that originated in Canada. It is celebrated on various dates around the world. In 2012, the United Nations declared the official day to be May 4, some countries prefer to celebrate it on 28/29 February), which was recognised by many countries worldwide, including Australia, New Zealand, France, Lebanon, the United Kingdom and the United States. It is celebrated on February 27th in Canada, but International Day of Pink is also celebrated there, on a different day.
The original event was organized by David Shepherd and Travis Price of Berwick, Nova Scotia, who in 2007 bought and distributed 50 pink shirts after male ninth grade student Chuck McNeill was bullied for wearing a pink shirt during the first day of school. In Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald proclaimed the second Thursday of September "Stand Up Against Bullying Day" in recognition of these events.
In 2008, the then Premier of British Columbia, Gordon Campbell proclaimed February 27 to be the provincial anti-bullying day. The last Wednesday each February is now the national anti-bullying day in Canada. In 2009, Boys and Girls Clubs worked on pink T-shirts that say "Bullying Stops Here." and "Pink Shirt Day" for Anti-Bullying Day.
In 2012, the United Nations declared May 4 as Anti-Bullying Day.
Anti-Bullying Day was instituted to prevent further bullying. The United States Department of Justice showed that one out of four kids will be bullied during their adolescence. Most of the time it continues after the first incident; statistics show that 71 percent of students that are bullied, continue to be bullied, making it a problem with no end. According to the Yale School of Medicine, a study in 2010 discovered a connection between being bullied and suicide. The term to describe this is "bullycide" where someone who is bullied commits suicide as a result.
Anti-Bullying Day activities can take place at schools, workplaces, or any peer group location. They may include "abolishing bullying" rallies, information and networking booths to help the community in understanding the evils of bullying, and publicizing anti-discrimination organizations. Examples include Blue Shirt World Day of Bullying Prevention, National Bullying awareness month, and Pink Shirt Day. Other features include handouts, resources, and information promoting the message of the "National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence". Examples of other activities include races, conferences, video-creating competitions such as the "ScreenIt!" and the "Back me up" competitions, and community events, all used to spread awareness of bullying and violence, The initiative seeks to support the work of students, educators, community and business in their efforts to stop bullying, discrimination, homophobia and transphobia.
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- S.P. Limber, P. Cunningham, V. Florx, J. Ivey, M. Nation, S. Chai, and G. Melton, "Bullying among school children: Preliminary findings from a school-based intervention program," paper presented at the Fifth International Family Violence Research Conference, Durham, NH, June/July 1997.