EMSB to launch Pink Shirt Day campaign on February 23 with virtual event

The English Montreal School Board will launch a new anti-bullying campaign on Pink Shirt Day on February 23 (1:15 p.m.) when world-renowned wrestler Jacques Rougeau addresses students in a virtual presentation.

Bullying is a problem in schools, workplaces, homes and online. During the month of February, and throughout the year, Pink Shirt Day aims to raise awareness of these issues, as well as raise funds to support programs that promote healthy self-esteem in children. In 2007 in Nova Scotia, grade 12 students David Shepherd, Travis Price and a few friends witnessed a grade 9 student being bullied for wearing a pink shirt on the first day of school. They knew they had to do something to show that this kind of behavior was not acceptable and they decided to go out and buy a bunch of pink shirts and give them to the other students to wear. At the end of this week, most of the students at the school were wearing pink shirts to show their support for the bullied grade 9 student.

The English Montreal School Board is proud to announce that Electrika, one of the only companies to exclusively offer residential electrician services in Montreal and Laval, will be the official sponsor of the Pink Shirt Day campaign. Owner John McElligott, who started the business in 2004, notes that on t-shirts he recently had printed for staff, the word “Respect” appears on the shoulder. “Customers who don’t treat our employees with respect are engaging in a form of bullying,” he said.

Rougeau comes from the most important family of wrestlers in Quebec. In the late 1980s, he starred in the World Wrestling Federation – today’s WWE – on a tag team with his brother Raymond. After Raymond retired in 1990, he continued to wrestle for another decade before retiring, taking on several other characters including The Mountie. During his career, Rougeau says he was bullied by a few of his contemporaries in the WWF – another well-known team called the British Bulldogs. In recent years he has also started speaking in schools, talking to children and performing skits about how to deal with bullies. “I teach them how to react, how to solve it,” he said.

The live stream can be viewed on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEQR5LoPBoo.

About the English Montreal School Board

With a population of over 35,000 students in the youth and adult sector, the English-Montreal School Board (EMSB) is the largest English-speaking public school board in Quebec. Established on July 1, 1998, when the province created new boards based on linguistic criteria, the EMSB network has 77 schools and centres. For more details, visit the EMSB website at www.emsb.qc.ca.

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