FREDERICTON (CNB) – The provincial government is again encouraging New Brunswickers to take a stand against bullying within schools, communities and workplaces in anticipation of the fifth annual National Pink Shirt Day, Wednesday, Feb. 29.

"I encourage everyone to wear pink on Feb. 29 to show support in fostering respect and tolerance within families, homes, workplaces and schools," said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Jody Carr. "It is important for schools, educators, students, parents, businesses, communities and government to unite as one voice to symbolize that we as a society will not tolerate bullying."

New Brunswickers observed the provincial anti-bullying day, better known as Blue Day, in December. Leading up to National Pink Shirt Day, the provincial government is repeating its call on New Brunswickers to take a stand against bullying.

Pink Shirt Day began in 2007 after two Nova Scotia teenagers encouraged their fellow students to wear pink T-shirts in support of a pupil who was being bullied. Since then, schools, businesses and communities across Canada have recognized this day.

The provincial government continues to support anti-bullying initiatives by working with school districts, schools, principals, teachers, students, parents and communities on a multi-phased approach to create safe and healthy learning and working environments.

The Ministerial Advisory Committee on Positive Learning and Working Environments established by Carr in March 2011 is working toward building a stronger framework to deal with bullying.

The committee, which will complete its work in March, will recommend programming, policies and prevention measures as well as legislation that would establish protocols to help educators deal with school violence and clarify the roles and responsibilities of principals, parents and parent support committees.

“Legislation alone will not take the issue away,” said Carr. “We cannot rely on one agency; it will take all of us together. Solving bullying requires a multi-faceted solution that relies on educators, administrators, social workers, psychologists, mediators, parents, community organizations and students."