Feb. 28 will be Pink Shirt Day in Olds

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Last Wednesday in February from now on

Olds town council has declared Wednesday, Feb. 28 Pink Shirt Day and agreed that every year from now on, the last Wednesday of February will be Pink Shirt Day in the community.

On that day, residents of all ages are encouraged to wear a pink shirt or at least something else pink to show zero tolerance for bullying and support for those who are bullied.

Boys and Girls Club of Olds and Area director Letitia Gole wrote a letter asking for the proclamation. In that letter, she related the origin of the special day.

“Pink Shirt Day originated in 2007 when two high school students witnessed another student being bullied for wearing a pink shirt. The next day, two students showed up at school wearing pink and handed out pink shirts to as many of their peers as they could,” she wrote.

“When the bullied youth arrived at school, he was overwhelmed by the support of his peers; the act of an entire school banding together as a unified front, sending a strong message that bullying would not be tolerated.”

On behalf of the club, Gole asked the town to proclaim Feb. 28 Pink Shirt Day in Olds and to name the last Wednesday of February each year going forward as Pink Shirt Day in the community.

Gole said there’s a real need for that.

“Bullying is a major problem in our schools, workplaces, homes and online,” she wrote.

“Throughout the month of February and throughout the year, (the) Boys and Girls Club of Olds and Area aims to raise awareness about bullying and provides programming for children and youth that assists in becoming ‘bullyproof’ with a special emphasis on ‘bystander power.’

“On Feb. 28, 2018, we encourage everyone to practise kindness and wear pink to symbolize that we do not tolerate bullying in our community.”

In a memo to council, community services director Doug Wagstaff noted this will mark the third year in a row the town has proclaimed Pink Shirt Day.

“It’s something where we can take a leadership role,” he said.

He pointed out that since its “humble beginnings,” the day “has now grown into a global event that is offering change for western societies across the world.”

Wagstaff also said in addition to the Boys and Girls Club, local schools have also enthusiastically embraced Pink Shirt Day.

“On Feb. 28, 2018, we encourage everyone to practise kindness and wear pink to symbolize that we do not tolerate bullying in our community.”
LETITIA GOLE
CLUB DIRECTOR
BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB OF OLDS AND AREA

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Doug Collie

Doug Collie joined the Olds Albertan in 2014 as editor. He covers municipal politics, news, community events, arts and entertainment and sports happening in and around Bowden and Olds.