Students at Toronto schools are celebrating International Day of Pink on Wednesday by wearing pink clothing, displaying decorations they have made and listening to speakers on diversity.
Two schools, Queen Alexandra Middle School and St. John Paul II Catholic Secondary School, are marking the day in a big way. International Day of Pink is a day to raise awareness about the need to stop discrimination, gender-based bullying, homophobia, transphobia and transmisogyny.
“When people come together, real change is made and that is the message behind this day,” Mayor John Tory said in a tweet.
Students decorated school walls with flowers, hand prints and personal pledges to stop bullying and homophobia. Schools at both the Toronto District School Board and the Toronto Catholic District School Board mark the day.
Shari Schwartz-Maltz, TDSB spokesperson, said: “It’s a day to recognize that bullying is not acceptable. We’re proud that we’re here today. It’s an exciting day.”
At Queen Alexandra Middle School, the mayor and Canadian Olympic champion Mark Tewksbury spoke to students.
At St. John Paul Catholic Secondary School, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders and Tad Milmine, a Calgary police officer and founder of Bullying Ends Here, a bullying prevention program, addressed students.
Tory said the Toronto sign will be lit in pink on Wednesday to support the day.
Teen bullied for wearing pink
Every year, the day is held during the second week of April.
It started when a teen in Nova Scotia was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school. The following day, two fellow students bought 50 pink shirts for other students to wear in solidarity against LGBTQ-based discrimination. The students created a “sea of pink” and the idea caught on.