Saanich a rallying spot for Pink Shirt Day

Reynolds to host Pink Shirt founder for a Wednesday assembly

Pink Shirt Day founder Travis Price speaks to Mount Douglas secondary students last year. Price is back in Saanich Wednesday for Pink Shirt Day

For the second year in a row the creator of Pink Shirt Day will be speaking in Saanich, on Pink Shirt Day.

It’s a coup to have Travis Price at Reynolds secondary today, said Reynolds counsellor Heather Benson, after he presented to the students of Mount Douglas secondary last year.

Price has a history of making himself present in our provincial capital since former premier Gordon Campbell invited him nearly a decade ago.

“When I saw him speak [at the legislature] a few years ago I gave him a Reynolds scarf and said, ‘Please, will you speak at Reynolds this year,’” Benson said.

The talented speaker is in high demand, flying in from a morning engagement in Vancouver to deliver an after-lunch presentation at Reynolds. When Price started the popular anti-bullying movement with high school pal David Shepherd, it was on a September day in 2007 in Cambridge, N.S.

It’s since grown to international status.

Of course, it makes it slightly easier for Price to be here on Feb. 22 as even though Pink Shirt Day is celebrated internationally, it isn’t celebrated on the same day (United Nations declared May 4 Anti-Bullying Day) while other places celebrate it on the last day of February.

On that fateful day in 2007, Price and Shepherd pulled a pink shirt protest, purchasing 50 pink shirts and distributing them around the school for classmates to wear in response to a pink-shirt shaming incident the day before.

”Price lives in Britain now, so he comes across the globe, all the way home to Saanich,” Benson said.

Reynolds, for their part, take the community connection of Pink Shirt Day to the next level with anti-bullying pledges (they’re hoping to come close to 1,600 again this year) lining a section of the school walls. This year a group of Reynolds students took huge paper T-shirts to Cedar Hill and Arbutus middle schools to encourage those students to sign their names on the big shirts. Those too will be posted along the Reynolds halls.

“It’s a community of care,” Benson said. “Not only that, we’ll bring those middle school pledges back out when [those students] are here for the Grade 8 to 9 transition day in May, and they’ll see it then.”

The Reynolds Pink Shirt Day event brings out big support, as last year Greater Victoria MLAs Rob Fleming and John Horgan (a Reynolds graduate) made it out, and once again this year there will be a strong representation of local first responders.

For more on Pink Shirt Day visit pinkshirtday.ca.

 

 

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