FEBRUARY 9, 2022 -- The nationally recognized Pink Shirt Day usually occurs on the last Wednesday of February every year; however, this year, that date falls during the Family Week break. As such, the Ministry of Education has declared Wednesday, February 16, 2022 as Pink Shirt Day in Saskatchewan.
Pink Shirt Day became established after two Nova Scotia students, David Shepherd and Travis Price, took action to turn the tide against bullies who were targeting a male student who wore a pink polo shirt on his first day of school, calling him homophobic slurs, and threatening him. Mr. Shepherd and Mr. Price decided that “enough was enough,” went to a nearby store and bought 50 pink shirts to distribute and wear at school the next day. They then emailed classmates to get them on-board with their cause that they dubbed a “sea of pink.” Not only were the purchased pink shirts worn, but hundreds of students showed up the next day wearing their own pink clothing. This visual shift in the power differential sent a powerful message to the bullies, who discontinued their bullying. The link to an original news article can be found here.
Since that time, this day has become an important one for empowering students to speak out against homophobia, transphobia and bullying in general, and to show solidarity for their fellow students. All students and staff have a right to learn, work and interact in a safe, caring and affirming environment, and to be accepted for the human beings they are. Underscoring this is our division’s Shared Values: I respect; I belong; I am responsible and I want to know.