This is such a great story, it really needs to reach a wider audience.
A Grade 9 student at Central Kings Rural High in The Annapolis Valley area of Nova Scotia, showed up for his first day of school wearing pink. He immediatly became the target of a group of bullies. They called him all the usual names, homosexual and fag, and threatened to beat him up. Two Grade 12 students, David Shepherd and Travis Price, witnessed what happened and decided enough was enough.
"It’s my last year. I’ve stood around too long and I wanted to do something," said David.
They used the Internet to encourage people to wear pink and bought 75 pink tank tops for male students to wear. They handed out the shirts in the lobby before class last Friday — even the bullied student had one.
"I made sure there was a shirt for him," David said.
They also brought a pink basketball to school as well as pink material for headbands and arm bands. David and Travis figure about half the school’s 830 students wore pink.
It was hard to miss the mass of students in pink milling about in the lobby, especially for the group that had harassed the new Grade 9 student.
"The bullies got angry," said Travis. "One guy was throwing chairs (in the cafeteria). We’re glad we got the response we wanted."
David said one of the bullies angrily asked him whether he knew pink on a male was a symbol of homosexuality.
He told the bully that didn’t matter to him and shouldn’t to anyone.
"Something like the colour of your shirt or pants, that’s ridiculous," he said.
So now the "Pink campaign" has taken off. This past Friday, schools all over the province were decked out in pink. 30 Schools in the largest city alone were involved.
At Halifax West High School, about 1,000 of the school’s nearly 1,600 students were decked out in pink Friday.
"It was the student council’s idea," said Linda Lund, vice-principal of the Clayton Park school.
She said in 26 years of teaching she’s never seen an idea catch on with students like this one.
Devin Donegani had a double reason to take up the cause.
"I’m a part of the GSA, the Gay Students’ Alliance," the Grade 10 student said. "It is very important to me," he said, as he proudly wore a pink T-shirt with the words God Thinks I’m Fabulous printed on it.
What makes this story so great is the original incident happened at a Rural school, not in a big city. And it's taking hold in other rural communities. It's in the small villages and towns where kids who are different (gay, straight..doesn't matter) are often harrassed the most.
So a big shout out to kids who stand up to bullies. May your parents all learn from your actions.