Reminder: Pink Shirt Day is this Friday!

19 May, 2015

MEDIA RELEASE

Pink Shirt Day is this Friday 22 May, and schools, workplaces and communities are turning pink to spread the word that we all play a role in preventing bullying.

There are more than 120 events registered on the Pink Shirt Day calendar, from policing in pink in Dunedin to bonanzas in Northland, New Zealanders are celebrating Pink Shirt Day in more ways than ever before.

The official Pink Shirt Day heroes, Ruben Krueger (age 15, Nelson), Madeline Arps (age 12, Wellington), Tekau Solomona (age 10, Auckland), Chance Whittaker-Ngaropo (age 15, Auckland) and Esther Chiang (age 17, Auckland) will be celebrating the day with the Defence Force in Auckland.

“Bullying is an issue that most schools face, in some form or another,” says Mental Health Foundation chief executive Judi Clements. “On Pink Shirt Day we stand together against bullying, and make a commitment to work on solutions to bullying, to celebrate differences and promote friendship.

“Some young people, particularly LGBTI youth, are disproportionately affected by bullying, and this is not acceptable,” Ms Clements says. “It is up to all of us to ensure that schools and communities are safe and welcoming places for all people.”

ENDS

Key facts:

  • According to the Youth ’12 report, while 74.8% of same/both-sex attracted students felt safe at school all or most of the time, this proportion was considerably lower than among opposite-sex attracted students (87.5%)
  • Youth ’12 found that 43.3% of same/both-sex attracted students had been hit or physically harmed on purpose in the last 12 months. 
  • Almost one in five same/both-sex attracted students reported being bullied at school on a weekly or more frequent basis.
  • The Youth ’12 report found that same/both-sex attracted students (as well as some opposite-sex attracted students) experience bullying because others thought they were gay, suggesting that same/both sex-attracted students are subjected to additional harassment, ‘over and above’ the bullying related to their sexuality. 
  • Three times as many same or both sex attracted students were bullied weekly at school compared with opposite sex-attracted students
  • 31% of year 4 students report being bullied on a weekly or more frequent basis (TIMMS survey)
  • 45% of Year 9 students in New Zealand report experiencing bullying about weekly or monthly (TIMMS survey)

Visit Pink Shirt Day:

Website: http://www.pinkshirtday.org.nz
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PinkShirtDayAotearoa

For more information or further comment, please contact:

Sophia Graham
Senior Communications Officer
Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand
Phone: 09 623 4810 ext 811
Mobile: 021 740 454
sophia@mentalhealth.org.nz