The Summerland Bully Free Organization held a rally on Main Street Friday morning.  Students and teachers

The Summerland Bully Free Organization held a rally on Main Street Friday morning.  Students and teachers

1,200 attend anti-bullying rally

Summerland is getting a reputation as a community that doesn’t stand for bullying.

Summerland is getting a reputation as a community that doesn’t stand for bullying. Friday morning’s anti-bullying rally in downtown Summerland saw more than 1,200 in attendance, most of them wearing pink t-shirts to signify opposition to bullying.

The rally was organized by the Summerland Bully Free Organization, led by Tina Martin. It was attended by students from Summerland Secondary School and Giant’s Head School as well as members of the public.

The crowd gathered on Main Street  between Victoria Road and Henry Avenue, an area that was closed to traffic for the event.

The rally was designed to draw attention to Anti-Bullying Day which takes place Feb. 27 and to promote anti-bullying initiatives with the goal of making Summerland a bully-free community.

The rally was videotaped for a show which will make its first appearance at the Summerland municipal council meeting Feb. 25 and then be posted on YouTube and Facebook.

The committee will also be showing the documentary Bully Feb. 26 at Centre Stage Theatre at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free. A question and answer period will follow the video.

The events in Summerland are related to the Feb. 20 nationwide Pink Shirt Day.

Martin, a mother of three small children, said she is pleased with the response to the rally. “I think it went well. I am pleased how many people came out and supported this.”

The committee plans to host more anti-bullying events this year, including workshops and presentations possibly on business-related bullying and elder abuse.

More information is available at bullyfreesummerland.com and on the group’s Facebook page.