This article was published on November 11th, 2021
Have you ever been picked on? It is not fun when people bother us for things outside of our control. It could be that someone feels our differences make us less of a person than them, and bullying is how they express their insecurity. In the United States, one out of every five students reported being bullied in 2019. That is 20% of all students who feel unsafe at school. Bullying comes in many forms too, it’s not always harmless and sometimes can lead to major incidents like death.
Students who experience bullying have an increased risk of developing depression. It can also cause them anxiety and lead to an increase in mental health and behavioral issues. Bullying can be in person, such as at a school or on campus, or over the internet. When someone is bullied and ridiculed online, it’s called cyberbullying.
Did you know there is a movement and a day dedicated to ending bullying? If you want to learn more about it, keep reading because we will tell you a bit about the movement, when it is and how you can become involved to stop it from happening. The event is called International Stand Up To Bullying Day. It’s a special semiannual event that is easily recognized because of the pink shirts participants wear. Twenty-five countries worldwide support the movement, usually towards the end of November and last Friday in February. This year, it will be held on Friday, November 19.
The first International Stand Up To Bullying Day took place in 2008. More than 200 schools and 125,000 students and staff members pledged to take STAND against bullying by pledging to wear a pink shirt supporting the ideology the movement represents. When someone wears a pink shirt for bullying day, they can be counted on as a support network for some experiencing being bullied. Why Pink, you may wonder? Travis Prince and David Shepherd stood up for a friend who was bulliedone day for wearing a pink shirt to school. The next day they bought and distributed 50 pink shirts around campus. They sent out an email letting others know about the movement they called the “Sea of pink,” but the next day was astonished to find that almost the entire student body showed up wearing pink from head to toe.
Everyone can take a stance against bullying. It’s easy and something that anyone can be affected by. If you want to stand up against bullying on this global day of awareness, you can sign up to take a stand. Another possibility is to reach out to a friend and let them know you support them. If you don’t suspect they are being bullied, you can still show support and love for a friend who may one day be in need.
You may think that you are not able to make a difference in the fight against bullying as an individual. If everyone felt this way about movements around the world, every major global movement would fall flat. The power of an individual to make a change is amplified when we join for a good cause. The phenomenon is known as the power of one.
What will you decide to do? Will you take a stance against bullying by wearing a pink shirt on International Stand Up To Bullying Day? Or, will you stand by and let people continue to hurt? Nobody deserves to be bullied, and our community’s youth is greatly affected by bullying, especially if they identify as part of the LGBTQ community. So, let’s stand together and show people that we will not tolerate it anymore.