Students take action against bullying on Pink Day in Manitoba

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Students take action against bullying on Pink Day in Manitoba

Manitoba is once again awash in pink to promote respect and take a stand against bullying.

Thousands of youth and adults across the province, as well as in Nunavut, are taking part in the second Canadian Red Cross Pink Day of the year on Wednesday.

"We are excited to have more than 200 schools in Manitoba and Nunavut join us in celebrating the importance of being respectful to each other and being someone's hero by standing up to bullying. We also have more than 10,000 individuals wearing the official Red Cross shirts," said Rebecca Ulrich, provincial education manager for the Red Cross.

"We celebrate on two days — today and in February — to take advantage of both the international and national Pink Days, but also because talking about bullying prevention needs to happen more than once a year."

The first Pink Day in 2017 was Feb. 22 and included a film festival, held in Winnipeg, which featured 20 short videos made by kindergarten to Grade 12 students from Manitoba and Nunavut.

This time around, Red Cross representatives are joining students at Linden Meadows School in Winnipeg and King George School in Brandon. The events include rallies and assemblies to promote the message that standing up to bullying is heroic.

Pink Day began in Nova Scotia in 2007 when two high school students — Travis Price and David Shepherd — heard that a male student at their school was harassed for wearing a pink polo shirt.

They brought 50 pink shirts to school the next day and encouraged other students to join what they called a "sea of pink" in support of the bullied student.

The pair then took their anti-bullying movement online and it has since spread nationwide and beyond. This is the sixth year that Manitoba has taken part.

The Canadian Red Cross joined the movement several years back as a lead organizer and now sells pink T-shirts with proceeds going to support bullying prevention education.

Although April 12 is the last official Pink Day for the year, the Red Cross is screening the documentary Rising Above, which deals with bullying and its impact, next month.

Price, who is profiled in Rising Above, will attend the screenings.

The movie will be shown in Brandon on May 16 and in Winnipeg on May 18 (Scotiabank Theatre Polo Park) and May 19 (Silver City St. Vital Centre).