Paint the Town Pink

In 2007, two high school students in Nova Scotia stood up for a peer who was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school. They intervened and also organized their entire school to wear pink on the same day as a sign of solidarity. This was the beginning of the school working together to end homophobia and transphobia. It was also the beginning of national and international initiatives to address bullying and discrimination in our schools.

On February 24, 2016, the Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU) will celebrate national Pink Shirt Day, and Wednesday, April 13, 2016 marks the International Day of Pink. Each of these days has the same focus:  schools and communities standing together to end bullying and discrimination.

The Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) is proud of the commitment of our students, staff and community members to these initiatives. Our board-wide events coincide with the International Day of Pink and have grown into a week-long event aimed at celebrating diversity and putting an end to bullying.

This year marks our 3rd annual Paint the Town Pink where schools and communities partner together to raise awareness to end bullying. We are tremendously excited to have expanded this project to include Collingwood, Midland and Orillia, in addition to Barrie. We hope to include more neighbourhoods each year!

It doesn’t matter what you decide to celebrate or when you decide to wear a pink shirt – what matters is that we all work together towards creating a safer, more inclusive environment in our schools and communities.

To see what Paint the Town Pink is like, check out this blog post about last year’s events. If you or your school would like more information about how to get involved with Paint the Town Pink, please contact:

Jane Dewar, Equity and Inclusion IRT at or 705.734.6363 x.11298


Shayla Powell, Equity and Inclusion IRT at or 705.734.6363 x.11859

For more information, resources and ideas about how to get involved, please visit

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