Don Matheson wears his stand against bullying on his face in the form of a bright pink beard and he wants others to join him.
While many on pull on a pink T-shirt to take a stand against bullying on Feb. 27 as part of the internationally recognized Anti-Bullying Day/Pink Shirt Day which originated in Canada. For the past three years, Matheson has taken his stand a step farther – he uses pink dye to make his neatly-trimmed goatee match his clothing.
The daring fashion choice comes at a price. Matheson said in previous years the dye, that was supposed to wash out easily with some shampoo, lingered and faded for over three days before it was gone completely.
Matheson, a Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society reading program volunteer who works with students at the Hillcrest and Ranchero Elementary schools, said his beard is well received by the students at the schools.
When his beard is dyed, Matheson said he regularly receives compliments on it both from people who recognize the association with the anti-bullying pink shirt day and those who don’t. The enthusiasm the young students at the schools Matheson volunteers at have for the anti-bullying cause has made an impression on him. He said he wishes more people, both older students and adults, would do more to condemn bullying.
“Why aren’t our high school kids who have beards doing it? That’s my question,” Matheson said.