United against bullying

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Northlander Suzy Cato is in the pink ahead of Pink Shirt Day on Friday.
Northlander Suzy Cato is in the pink ahead of Pink Shirt Day on Friday.

Tomorrow thousands of New Zealanders including Northland-raised children's entertainer Suzy Cato will celebrate Pink Shirt Day to speak up and stand together to stop bullying.

Individuals, schools, community groups, universities, businesses and workplaces are set to turn the country pink and combat bullying in record numbers for the campaign.

Ms Cato said Pink Shirt Day was about showing a united front, strength and support for each other, regardless of age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability or cultural background.

"We may have experienced bullying at some stage in our lives. We may have even participated in bullying or supported it without realising. We can all play our part in preventing it," she said.

"Real change happens when we stand together and send a strong message that there is no place for bullying in New Zealand."

Pink Shirt Day started in Canada in 2007 when two school students took a stand against homophobic bullying, after a younger student was harassed and threatened for wearing pink.

"Bullying in all its forms is unacceptable. We need to nurture inclusive environments where all young people feel safe and supported to be themselves," Ms Cato said.

Pink Shirt Day is led by the Mental Health Foundation with support from The Peace Foundation, RainbowYOUTH, Inside Out, New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association, Youthline and Family Works.

- Northern Advocate

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