As bullying—cyber and on the playground—gets more and more media attention, things are slowly starting to change.
People learn to recognize it, to call it out, and to step in when they can help stop bullying. It becomes less acceptable to bully others when the behaviour is out in the open.
That’s the idea behind Pink Shirt Day, a growing national movement to wear pink to raise awareness of bullying.
United Way agency partner Centre RENAISSANCE Centre leads an anti-bullying program that reaches out to schools and community members, including seniors.
Executive Director Ginette Mulaire Bérard reflects:
“Bullying has become a real challenge, from the kids who experience it at school and don’t yet have the self-esteem and tools to deal with the possible ramifications, to adults who experience it at different levels.
Whatever form that bullying takes, either with subtle threats or outright physical intimidation, it is not acceptable.
We as adults and educators have a responsibility to show an example to the kids in our community that we recognize, acknowledge that bullying exists at many levels and stand up to not accepting it by giving them tools, techniques and strategies to deal with this.
(In addition to community outreach, anger management and self-esteem building programs), as a counselling agency we strive to work with the individuals who have been recognized as having bullying behaviour, getting to the source of the matter and dealing with it from that angle also.”
Official pink shirts are available in Winnipeg at London Drugs, with proceeds to our agency partner Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg, who themselves work to help children feel included, overcome barriers, and develop confidence.