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It’s Pink Shirt Day in Canada and people in Kelowna aren’t being left behind.
Mayor Colin Basran started off the day at the Kelowna Boys and Girls Club Breakfast to proclaim February 24, 2016, Pink Shirt Day in Kelowna.
He said the city, and its residents, care about making it a welcoming and accepting place, that doesn’t tolerate bullying.
“Everybody was dressed in pink. It’s a really great thing to see,” he said.
Of the movement, Basran said it shows an important point.
“One person truly can make a difference and this is proof of it.”
Soon, he hopes that bullying will become a thing of the past, which he said starts with young people.
“If we can teach our kids to accept our differences and be inclusive, then we are going to have a community that’s going to be well-served,” Basran said.
Still, Basran said people often forget that adults are sometimes bullies too. In wanting to make the city a safe place for everyone, he talked about online bullying, and how it can target, and come from, people of all ages.
“Our first reaction in a lot of cases is to criticise and to attack. That was no more evident than with the Syrian refugee crisis and how quickly people forget that we have all come from somewhere else and that we are fortunate to call Kelowna home,” he said. “Kelowna is accepting of Syrian refugees, as we are of people from right across the world, and we want that message to be heard and felt by those coming here loud and clear.”
The Kelowna RCMP also joined the movement, along with detachments across the province, who all sent out pictures in their pink attire.
During the day, Kelowna RCMP School Liaison Officers (SLO), Cst. Robyn Boffy and Cst. Georgina Josefsson, are visiting Kelowna schools wearing their pink shirts in support of the National anti-bullying campaign.
“It's important to remind everyone to do what they can to keep their schools bully free and to report any acts of bullying or assist those who are victims of bullying,” said Cst. Robyn Boffy Kelowna RCMP School Liaison Officer, in a statement. “Young people should also be encouraged to approach teachers or other adults they trust if they are experiencing bullying and are not comfortable speaking with their parents.”
The RCMP also talked about cyber bullying, which they said is a growing concern in Canada.
There are a number of websites to prevent bullying, and to help children deal with it.
The RCMP reminds parents to talk to their kids about bullying, to find out whether it’s a problem in their lives or at their school.