New Zealand has some of the highest rates in the world when it comes to students being bullied at school. However, bullying is not just limited to NZ schools – it can occur in many other pervasive forms such as online cyber-bullying and bullying in the workplace. Cyber-bullying has been steadily increasing as technology and communication tools connect us more and we become part of the “always-on” generation. Conservative estimates suggest that 1 in 10 children have been cyber bullied, a figure which is probably much higher. Guidelines have been released in February this year by WorkSafe New Zealand for managing workplace bullying as they acknowledge bullying as a prevalent workplace hazard and as something that affects health and well-being in many different ways.
Pink Shirt Day is a way to get everyone together from all areas of life to discuss what we can do about bullying. It is also a vessel for people to celebrate differences and promote friendship.
The message of Pink Shirt Day is simply to speak up, stand together, and stop bullying.