Pink Shirt Day founder Travis Price speaks at an anti-bullying rally at the B.C. legislature Wednesday.

Students urge safe social media strategies

Pink Shirt Day founder calls on B.C. students to stand up for classmates who are being picked on

Students celebrated Pink Shirt Day at the B.C. legislature Wednesday with poetry, drama and advice for students to avoid bullying and exploitation from predators using social media.

The featured guest was Travis Price, who started Pink Shirt Day as a high school student in Nova Scotia in 2007.

“Travis is a hero of the anti-bullying movement in this country, and he started something that won’t be stopped any time soon,” said Premier Christy Clark, who took up the cause after reading news reports about Price’s effort.

Price saw two of his fellow grade 12 students harass a younger student for wearing a pink shirt, so he and his friend bought 75 pink tank tops and handed them out at the school the next day. They promoted the idea on social media and it caught on, with hundreds of students wearing pink to school.

“It is hard to stand up for people, but it’s all about taking that risk and hoping you can make somebody’s life better,” Price told a group of students and politicians at a noon-hour rally on the legislature steps.

Members of a B.C. student advisory committee released guidelines for safe online interaction to protect their privacy and  prevent misuse or exploitation. The guidelines are posted at www.erasebullying.ca along with general advice for students.

The website also has a way for B.C. students to make an anonymous report that they are being bullied.

Speakers reinforced one piece of advice from the website, urging students to talk to their friends in person whenever they can, rather than in texting or chatting online.

VIDEO: Scenes of Pink Shirt Day on the steps of Victoria’s legislature