Pink Shirt Day in Alberta

Recognize bullying and how to deal with it


Pink Shirt Day is February 26, 2020.

Pink Shirt Day began in 2007 when a student in Nova Scotia was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school. It has since been recognized annually worldwide as a day to stand against bullying.

This year, we are working to raise awareness of bullying prevention and highlight where to turn if in need of help.

Getting involved is easy. Wear your pink shirt, take a photo and share it on social media with the #PinkShirtDay and #WhereToTurn hashtags.

Consider how you can take part in Pink Shirt Day. Here are a few ideas:

• share Pink Shirt Day resources on social media

• discuss your role in bullying prevention with your friends, family or coworkers

• learn where to turn for help, like Bullying – Find supports

• write a letter or email to the editor of your local newspaper or radio station about the importance of promoting healthy relationships

• host a Pink Shirt Day themed event in your community

• What you can do

• If you are being bullied, there are 4 ways you can take action: Tell someone you trust. There are people who can help. You do not have to deal with this alone.

• Talk to someone you trust, such as the Bullying Helpline or a trusted friend, teacher, coach, co-worker or human resource person.

• You may need to contact the police if the bullying is severe and includes threats or physical violence.

• Stay safe

• Do not fight back – it can make the problem worse.

• Be assertive and stand up for yourself by telling the person to stop.

• Try to remain calm and leave the area.

• Find support in your community

• Contact the Bullying Helpline to find supports.

• Spend time with friends, family or colleagues who support you.

• Know your rights

• You have the right to feel safe. Schools, workplaces and other organizations have a legal responsibility to protect you from bullying.

• Check the bullying prevention policies and codes of conduct for your school, workplace, sports team and other community organizations.

• Learn about the laws to protect you from bullying.

• Stay safe online

• Follow these tips to protect yourself from cyberbullying:

• Report bullying and abusive behaviours to the place where it is happening (like Instagram or Facebook) and tell someone you trust.

• Save texts, voicemails, emails and screenshots to prove what happened.

• Do not share your passwords with anyone and change them immediately if you suspect someone knows them.

• Block the people who are bullying you.

• The laws and your rights

• Bullying is a human rights issue. You have the right to feel safe no matter where you are. This includes your home, work, school, community and online. There are federal and provincial laws to protect you from being bullied or harassed.

• Alberta’s laws

• The Education Act supports students and school staff by:

• clarifying the responsibility of school boards to ensure that students and staff are provided with welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments that respect diversity and foster a sense of belonging

• ensuring schools boards and schools recognize and support students in creating a student organization, that can include a Gay-Straight Alliance and a Queer Straight Alliance

• requiring school boards to establish, implement and maintain a policy that includes the establishment of a code of conduct for students that addresses bullying behaviour. The code of conduct must:

• be publicly available

• be reviewed annually

• be provided to all students, parents and staff

• contain specific elements outlined in the act

• The code of conduct must be in accordance with any further requirements established by the Minister of Education by order and must contain:

• statement of purpose that provides the rationale for the code of conduct, with a focus on welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments

• one or more statements that address the prohibited grounds of discrimination set out in the Alberta Human Rights Act

• one or more statements about what is acceptable behaviour and what is unacceptable behaviour, whether or not it occurs within the school building, during the school day or by electronic means

• one or more statements about the consequences of unacceptable behaviour, which must take into account of the student’s age, maturity, and individual circumstances, and which must ensure that support is provided for students who are impacted by inappropriate behaviour, as well as for students who engage in inappropriate behaviour

-Government of Alberta

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