By Katy Burley 
BELLEVILLE – First-year Loyalist community justice services student Meghan Beatty has had her fair share of bullying in the past, but this year she’s standing up.
“Since I’ve come to Loyalist it’s been a bit better,” she said.
As a part of the Rainbow Group, a support organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students, Beatty gave up her lunch period on Tuesday to set up a booth outside the Shark Tank Pub to raise awareness about bullying. She was reminding students that Pink Shirt Day is Feb. 26, and urging them to order Pink Shirt Day T-shirts and wear them to stand up against bullying.
The booth also gave students the opportunity to write messages to be posted on the group’s message board online for the week of Pink Shirt Day. The Rainbow group will also hold a bake sale for Three Oaks shelter for abused women and their children on Feb. 26.
Beatty said she doesn’t think students realize how subtle bullying can be.
“It’s really important that we take a stand and let people know it’s okay to be yourself,” she said. “We’re here for you.”
The goal of the Rainbow Group’s display is to raise bullying awareness as much as possible, she said. She told QNet News that she wants people to know they have options and they don’t have to put up with bullying.
“People don’t realize how much it affects someone when they’re bullied, and that really needs to come to the forefront that you’re really damaging people when you harass them and you bully them. Even if you think it’s funny, it’s not,” she said. “You really cause some lifelong damage.”