Pink Shirt Promise anti-bullying campaign kicks off in Dartmouth

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Pink Shirt Promise anti-bullying campaign kicks off in Dartmouth
WATCH ABOVE: Ten seconds. That's all it takes for a bystander to intervene and stop bullying in its tracks. Today, a new campaign launched in Dartmouth, one that aims to spread positivity ahead of national Pink Shirt Day. Global's Natasha Pace reports – Feb 17, 2016

A section of the Mic Mac Mall was transformed into a bright anti-bullying statement Wednesday, as the Pink Shirt Promise anti-bullying campaign officially kicked off.

“Created by Shaw Communications and now supported by Mic Mac Mall, the Pink Shirt Promise is an initiative for social change,” said Rebecca Logan, marketing director for the Mic Mac Mall.

“Bullying affects people of all ages, backgrounds and genders,” Logan said. “Bullying can take place online, at school or at work”

People of all ages are invited to stop by the pink wall and make a promise for kindness. The campaign will go for the next eight days, ending just in time for national Pink Shirt day, which was started in Nova Scotia eight years ago by Travis Price.

Wearing pink has become an international symbol for the Anti-Bullying Movement.

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“It was a simple act of kindness, one act, just stand up for him. Show him that he wasn’t alone,” Price said at the opening for the campaign. The boy he’s referring to is a fellow student who wore a pink shirt to school on the first day of classes.

He was teased and bullied for wearing the shirt. After seeing the bullying, Price decided to stand up and take action, encouraging other students to wear pink shirts in support of their fellow student and as a way to stand up to bullies.

“We didn’t know at the time that Pink Shirt Day would turn into the movement that it has today. It was simply to try and show this student that he wasn’t alone. Now, this simple act of kindness has grown into something that simply blows my mind, that I can say is now in over 27 countries around the world.”

The idea behind Pink Shirt Promise is simple: by making a personal pledge to end bullying and spread positivity, you could change someone’s life. Price says it only takes a few seconds for a bystander to intervene.

“I could have walked away, I could have done nothing, I could have joined in, I could have been one of the bullies,” said Price. “Instead I made the decision to try and help this student.”

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Students from two local high schools were on hand for the event and all made promises to end bullying.

“I can’t help but be filled with a sense of pride,” said Reagan Safire, a student at Cole Harbour High School.

“A sense of pride that comes from being a part of a school that understands that when we acknowledge, accept, appreciate and celebrate each other’s differences, we always win.”

Similar events to kick off the Pink Shirt Promise Campaign are happening across the country.  Pink Shirt day is February 24.

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