Think Pink

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Gillette, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. Gillette

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    Two Nova Scotia students are being praised across North America for the way they turned the tide against the bullies who picked on a fellow student for wearing pink.
    The victim — a Grade 9 boy at Central Kings Rural High School in the small community of Cambridge — wore a pink polo shirt on his first day of school.



    Bullies harassed the boy, called him a homosexual for wearing pink and threatened to beat him up, students said.
    Two Grade 12 students — David Shepherd and Travis Price — heard the news and decided to take action.


    "I just figured enough was enough," said Shepherd.
    They went to a nearby discount store and bought 50 pink shirts, including tank tops, to wear to school the next day.
    'Sea of pink' support
    Then the two went online to e-mail classmates to get them on board with their anti-bullying cause that they dubbed a "sea of pink."
    But a tsunami of support poured in the next day.
    Not only were dozens of students outfitted with the discount tees, but hundreds of students showed up wearing their own pink clothes, some head-to-toe.



    When the bullied student, who has never been identified, walked into school to see his fellow students decked out in pink, some of his classmates said it was a powerful moment. He may have even blushed a little.
    "Definitely it looked like there was a big weight lifted off his shoulders. He went from looking right depressed to being as happy as can be," said Shepherd.
    And there's been nary a peep from the bullies since, which Shepherd says just goes to show what a little activism will do.
    "If you can get more people against them … to show that we're not going to put up with it and support each other, then they're not as big as a group as they think are," he says.
    The students' "sea of pink" campaign did not go unnoticed outside the province. U.S. talk show host Ellen DeGeneres expressed interest in their story, and other schools are talking about holding their own "pink day."
    "It's been totally overwhelming for us. I mean we're just two local boys and I mean we're getting calls from like Alaska and e-mails. It's just phenomenal the support that we've gotten from across the globe," said Price.
    The school principal, understandably, was flush with pride.
    "You're always hearing about the youth of the world and how bad things are. Well, they're not that bad," said Stephen Pearl.
    ********************************************************
    Source

    Pink message packs punch
    Even N.S. admits its anti-bullying efforts pale in comparison
    By MICHAEL LIGHTSTONE Staff Reporter

    The recent anti-bullying actions of two Nova Scotia high school students have done more to help fight the perennial problem than any government programs, the provincial education minister said Tuesday.
    Karen Casey praised the effort of Grade 12 pupils David Shepherd and Travis Price, who this month started a wave of pink-wearing in Nova Scotia schools in response to the bullying of a younger student at their school. The Grade 9 boy was picked on for wearing a pink shirt on his first day of high school at Central Kings Rural High in Cambridge.
    Instead of ignoring the situation, David and Travis persuaded many fellow students to wear pink later that week at school and say no to bullying. The concept spread to metro Halifax and other parts of the province and motivated the MacDonald government to formally recognize the boys’ anti-bullying message.
    David and Travis were honoured Tuesday at a brief ceremony at Province House in Halifax. During the event, a letter to the young men from Ms. Casey was read aloud, and it suggested their grassroots idea has trumped official measures trying to reduce incidents of bullying.
    "Your protest in pink was simple and at the same time profoundly moving," she said in her letter. "That gesture of support for your schoolmate, and the buy-in from your school, did more to advance the cause of respect in schools than any anti-bullying program we’ve been able to create so far."
    Said Ms. Casey: "Schools alone cannot stop bullying. . . . What you did . . . is a perfect example of what we all need to do as individuals to promote safe and respectful learning environments."
    Premier Rodney MacDonald, a former teacher, indicated the Education Department is obviously aware that bullying is present in schools and is trying to do something about it. But he acknowledged that hurtful behaviour is not easy to correct.
    "It’s a problem that we see in many settings," he told reporters. "It’s a very complicated issue, and there’s no one single program or . . . act that will stop bullying. But together, we can really make a difference."
    Education Department spokesman Peter McLaughlin said a program the province has had in place in schools since 2004 is called PEBS — "positive and effective behaviour support." He said David and Travis unwittingly used elements of the program to launch their own anti-bullying campaign.
    "What these kids did was what is essentially what we’re trying to teach (students) with PEBS," Mr. McLaughlin said. "You know, to have the . . . self-confidence and the courage to stand your ground. . . . They articulated what we want to see kids do."
    Mr. MacDonald, wearing a business suit and striped tie with pink in it, applauded the initiative taken by David and Travis, noting that media attention on their protest has spread the anti-bullying sentiment far beyond their school.
    "It’s (also) captured the attention of the government," the premier said. "And that’s a good thing."
    To that end, the province has proclaimed the second Thursday at the start of every school year as Stand Up Against Bullying Day.
    "Through this proclamation, the province will, at the outset of each school year, encourage schools, colleges and universities to relay the boys’ important message over and over again," a government release said.
    (mlightstone@herald.ca)
     
  2. Gillette

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    I just thought it would be nice to post some good news for a change.

    People can surprise you in the most wonderful way.
     
  3. whatireallywant

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    That is great news! :smile:
     
  4. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    It was great news! how exciting that people are finally saying "hey this isn't cool".
     
  5. HazelGod

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    That's cute, but it also happened two weeks ago...why posting it just now?
     
  6. guiltrip

    guiltrip New Member

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    There are so many more important things going on in the world, it always gets me how people can focus on things like high school teasing and clothing.
     
  7. whatireallywant

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    For people who were teased in high school, it can affect their self esteem throughout their lives.

    I was treated such. At age 44 I continue to have problems in my personal and professional lives. I have only had one long-term relationship, and have trouble holding down a steady job.
     
  8. Meniscus

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    It's normal for kids to tease and pick on each other a little bit, but most of them aren't bullies. Bullies are the minority and I seriously doubt that average kids "support" bullying. But most kids don't know how to deal with it, so they mind their own business and maybe feel relieved they aren't the victim.

    What these two kids did was brilliant. Their simple gesture of support was powerfully symbolic, and created an opportunity for other students to take a stand against bullying. Not only did they make the victim feel better, but they sent a message to the bullies that they're not tough, and they're not cool.

    Of course the problem of bullying isn't solved now and forevermore, but at least at this one school bullies will think twice before doing something like this again, and that is something.
     
  9. Meniscus

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    It may not seem so important to those of us who have been out of school for a while, but remember that kids are largely unaware of that world you're talking about. For them, high school is the world. And if it's a world full of torment and abuse, kids can really suffer, and it can have long-term effects on their personal lives and their scholastic performance. Teen depression and suicide are still big problems, and a lot of those kids are victims of bullying.

    Childhood shouldn't be hell, but for a lot of kids it is. It's a real problem worth paying attention to. It's worth caring about. It's bad enough so many adults turn a blind eye to bullying, but if they also ignore the actions of brave kids who try to stand up to it, what kind of message does that send to youth?
     
  10. Gillette

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    I was discussing it with a friend just today and thought I'd post it while it was fresh on my mind. The students in Halifax just had their Pink Day this past Thursday. I tried to find the Herald pic for that but couldn't. Ah, well.
     
  11. classyron

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    Gillette, I think that was a great story to post because bullying is also appearing more and more online too. I was bullied in school because I was always the new kid. I was lucky enough to get out without any lasting effects (mind you I am a pretty big guy, so the bullying stopped as I got older) but I know quite a few kids who could have used support like that. I don't think that bullying as a whole is as serious as some people make it out to be (therapists blame everyone BUT the patient, no matter what), but it is still a concern for many people and deserves some attention.
     
  12. agnslz

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    I've said it before on a similar site :rolleyes:, but those are some very wonderful kids! It gives one a lot of hope for the future. A future where such retarded assumptions and harassment, based on frivolous things like the color of shirt one chooses to wear, are no more.
     
  13. frizzle

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    [​IMG]I'd like to see that happen in our school. There'd be so many fights it wouldn't be funny.
     
  14. D_Humper E Bogart

    D_Humper E Bogart New Member

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    I find it interesting that the bullies weren't converted to a small amount of mush.

    I found out very early on and even later in life that might=right. I'm a defensive person and most people think I'm "easy". My brother is violently agressive and those seem fools literally run away from him, apart from Muslim gangs, but I don't rate micro-terrorists in the same league.

    Tell you what, if my child was being cussed for wearing pink, they better hope I've forgotten advanced human anatomy!

    People are literally dying because of verbal and physical abuse, yet somehow the bullied people who go psycho and kill everyone they see get all the news. Amazing, isn't it?
     
  15. Principessa

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    Are you saying that's a good thing? :confused::mad:
     
  16. IntoxicatingToxin

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    Yay for happy stories! That's awesome. :biggrin:
     
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