Defence Force tackles bullying for Pink Shirt Day

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Police, students, nurses and defence force personnel will all be pulling on their pink shirts in a bid to combat bullying.

Over 120 events are being held around the country today for Pink Shirt Day, which aims to raise awareness about the role everyone can play in preventing bullying.

Shop owners in Turangi will be painting the town pink with themed displays, while Dunedin police will be out on the streets wearing the official pink shirts.

Mental Health Foundation chief executive Judi Clements says bullying is an issue most schools face in some form on another.

She said LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex) youth were disproportionately affected by bullying.

“This is not acceptable. It is up to all of us to ensure that schools and communities are safe and welcoming places for all people.”

the-guys3Pink Shirt Day began in Canada in 2007 after a boy was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. The following day his fellow students donned shirts of the same colour to show their support for him.

Who’s getting bullied?

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  • 43.3 percent of LGBT students have been hit or physically harmed in the past year
  • About 20 percent of LGBT students report being bullied at school weekly
  • Three times as many LGBT students are bullied weekly compared with straight students
  • 31 percent of year four students are bullied weekly
  • 45 percent of year nine students experience bullying weekly or monthly

Source: Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand

Article Posted Friday 22 May 2015

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