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Think Pink: An Anti-Bullying Resource

Anti-Bullying Day (a.k.a. Pink Shirt day) is a day celebrated on various dates across the world, originating in Canada. In 2012, the United Nations declared the day officially, and is recognized by over 25 countries worldwide, such as the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom. On this day, those who participate wear pink, blue, or purple shirts (depending on location) to symbolize a stand against bullying.  In many countries, Anti-Bullying Day is recognized on May 4th.  Here in Canada, many areas celebrate it in February.  National Pink Shirt Day is on February 25th this year.

Pink Shirt Day began in Canada in 2007 with two high school students from Nova Scotia:
“David Shepherd, Travis Price and their teenage friends organized a high-school protest to wear pink in sympathy with a Grade 9 boy who was being bullied…[They] took a stand against bullying when they protested against the harassment of a new grade 9 student by distributing pink T-shirts in their school. 

‘I learned that two people can come up with an idea, run with it, and it can do wonders,’ says Mr. Price, 17, who organized the pink protest. ‘Finally, someone stood up for a weaker kid.’ 

So Mr. Shepherd and some other headed off to a discount store and bought 50 pink tank tops. They sent out message to schoolmates that night, and the next morning they hauled the shirts to school in a plastic bag. As they stood in the foyer handing out the shirts, the bullied boy walked in. His face spoke volumes. ‘It looked like a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders,’ Mr. Price recalled."

I have put together one of my favorite pink shirt day activities and posted it as a freebie on TpT (full lesson instructions, printables for the lesson, completed examples, and pictures of bulletin board display ideas).  This activity can be done in conjunction with any anti-bullying program - if you don't do a pink shirt day, this can still be done ... or better yet, start your own pink shirt day at your school.  

Students start out by blindly picking a "role" - bully, the bullied (victim), or bystander.  Groups then get together to discuss feelings / actions that go along with the role they have.  They then complete an "I am" poem from the point of view of the role they have.  Once the poem is completed, it is typed and photocopied onto a T-shirt template.  I also have my students design a T-shirt for pink shirt day while they are waiting for other students to complete the writing and publishing of their poems - keeps everyone busy and engaged.  

Click HERE or on the image to your right to grab a copy for your classroom.


  1. I used your template from past years to do this activity again with my students this week. I also got my whole school on board to design t-shirts and the hallways look amazing! This year a co-worker introduced me to the book, "The Bully, the Bullied, the Bystander, the Brave" by David Booth. Its a collection of amazing poems, by different poets, organized into the different perspectives. I love that they included "the Brave". Its a powerful message to students that they can stand up for what's right. We talked about how wearing a pink shirt on Wednesday is showing that you are the Brave. So this year for the poems, my students have the option to write from the perspective of "the Brave" as well. We just started today and I am excited with what I am seeing so far. Thanks again for sharing your amazing resources :)
    Link about the book:
    Thanks again,

    1. I absolutely LOVE the idea of including "the brave", Krista! Thank-you so much for letting me know about the resource. :)

    2. I LOVED it too. Including the Brave went really well in my class. Best line from a poem about the Brave: "I touch my courageous heart and stand up for the bullied".

  2. Love this activity and all that is teaches! We read the book, "Neil Armstrong is My Uncle..." by Nan Marino every year and this activity will go so well with the book. A bully is the main character in the book, which is a real shift for the kids!

  3. We have always had anti-bullying campaigns, but I did not know about Pink Shirt Day. I love this idea and I love how it was started by students even more. The material you've provided is great and I can't wait to start spreading the pink!


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