Thursday February 24, 2011

Feature Story                                                            

In The Pink

Chilliwack community pulls together on Anti-Bullying Day to eliminate the b-factor

Craig Hill/Voice photos


ave you ever been bullied? Sure, who hasn't. Another kid taunted or harangued you at school. Maybe the bullying got physical and maybe someone got hurt. So many people can tell stories of the tough kid down the block. But a question that isn't often asked is; have you ever bullied someone else? Be honest.


According to Merriam–Webster's Collegiate bully is defined as; an insolent, overbearing person who persists in tormenting another. i.e.. "a big bully who picked on little kids.                                                  


Mayor Sharon Gaetz shows the pink shirt she wore to work

                                                                 Wednesday in support of Anti-Bullying Day.


Synonyms of "bully" are; browbeater, bulldozer, harasser, harrier, hector, intimidator; tough. Related Words are; annoyer, antagonizer, heckler, persecutor, pest, tease, and lastly, tormenter.


It's hard to imagine a 5-year old exhibiting that kind of behaviour but it happens. It's a startling aspect of bullying but that's when it begins. Then, imagine a 250-pound adult, who bench presses Volkswagens, throwing his weight around the room. Even if only in a joking context, bullying can often escalate into dangerous situations involving violence.


But did you know that tough guys wear pink? Sure they do and the "Pinks" definitely ruled Chilliwack on Wednesday.


Each year in Canada February 23 is Anti-Bullying Day. Pink Shirt Day happened in 2007 when two high school kids in Hailfax, David Shepherd and Travis Price, handed out 50 pink shirts in protest after another student was bullied for wearing a pink shirt on the first day of school. Since then the movement has swept across the country and to BC where in 2008, Premier Gordon Campbell declared February 27 Anti-Bullying Day.  


Chilliwack Librarian Maria Godart was thinking  pink.                                                                                    

"I'm sure that never in their wildest dreams would they think that their actions in that school, that day, would lead to people right across Canada choosing to wear pink and choosing to say that we won't tolerate bullying and we stand up for people that have been bullied", said Mayor Sharon Gaetz. "We're showing for the times when we did bully as kids, or as adults."

The mayor was tickled pink to be able to wear the shirt for the day.


"It's such a good thing to do and it's a good thing to make people aware."

Most people tell of a time when they were bullied rather than a time that they bullied and Gaetz sees acknowledgement as part of the solution.


"Just to admit that they were part of a group of bullies or bullied others sends out a positive message to the community, said Gaetz. "Our town is growing and we care about people."

Gaetz pointed out that there are bullies at all levels in the community and that sometimes it even happens on the job.


"All of us at some point in our life has had a boss that's been unreasonable or someone in the workplace that has been unreasonable and it's human nature I think but I think every single person can rise above that learn how to treat people well and with respect."                                          

Just try and bully Laurie from UFV.


The Voice came across another pink tee on Chilliwack librarian Maria Godart at work in the children's book section. One word she'd love to see removed from the English language is "bully".


She, like the others thinking pink, wore her shirts to try and nip bullying in the bud and help the kids understand what bullies do. They don't get many tussles over books, but when they do, Godart says they "hope to have a word or two with them and perhaps it will give them some thought for the next time they're in."


"Just enjoy each other with respect and let's get rid of the "bully" word.


You can't call bullying an epidemic because those tend to explode from nowhere and spread rapidly. Bullying can be more accurately described as a plague and scourage and lends itself perfectly to gang activity. Abuse on this level has always been a problem in society and likely always will be. It begins in grade school and carries on into adulthood and later into the jobs.


Councillor Attrill was stylin' in pink.


There it has a name too—"workplace bullying".


It has to be said that, more often than not, bullying begins in the home where abuse of every type can happen. Children often emulate their parents when interacting socially. Therefore, if a child is bullied, they may bully other kids at school.



The Following Advice is courtesy of Knowzone at



Bullying happens when someone repeatedly says or does hurtful things to someone else on purpose.


Bullying can involve just two people or a group of people and comes in many forms:



Why do people bully?

People who bully typically have self-esteem issues, may fear getting picked on, are not happy with themselves and may be having trouble expressing negative emotions or dealing with issues in their own lives. Bullying is learned behaviour and can be eliminated.

Need Help?


If You Are a Victim of Bullying

If You Bully Others

If other issues are bothering you, talk to someone about it. Tell your parents, a teacher, counsellor or trusted adult about how you are feeling (angry/hurt/upset) and possible reasons as to why you are feeling that way.


What you can do

If you want to help deal with bullying, there are many things you can do:


Wikipedia - Anti-Bullying Day



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