Lifting each other up on Pink Shirt Day and every day 

Pink shirt day - 100 per cent bully-free

On February 23rd, join OPSEU/SEFPO as we celebrate Pink Shirt Day! It’s an important time to come together by wearing pink shirts and taking a stand against bullying.

Pink Shirt Day was started by two Grade 12 students, David Shepherd and Travis Price, as a show of solidarity for a Grade 9 student who was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school. Since then, the pink shirt has grown into an important symbol of the anti-bullying movement in Canada.

This year’s theme of “Lift Each Other Up” is all about celebrating our diversity as people embrace their cultures and identities more openly. At OPSEU/SEFPO, we know that our diversity is our strength. Our union’s membership is as diverse as our province, and we believe that lifting each other up is a crucial part of our work as a social justice union.

Whether it’s in our union, or the schools where our members work and our children learn, bullying must never be tolerated. Yet, bullying affects one out of every five children. It comes in the form of verbal, emotional and physical abuse. It can take place in-person or online in the form of cyberbullying.

This year, as we recognize the serious mental health implications of bullying, we must also take a moment to acknowledge the ongoing pandemic within the pandemic – that of mental health. With so many people suffering, today marks an important opportunity to advocate and to speak openly, so that those affected know they are not alone, and that there is a community of people here to support them.

We are fiercely proud of OPSEU/SEFPO Education workers who are on the front lines, standing up to bullying and supporting students every day, by nurturing compassion, kindness and respect.

On February 23, we join them in wearing pink shirts in our schools, workplaces and in our communities, and we will continue to support them every day.

In Solidarity,

Warren (Smokey) Thomas

Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida
OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer

Sandra Cadeau
OPSEU/SEFPO Sector 3, Boards of Education and Cultural Institutions, Chair

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