UPDATE: David and Travis have set up a site dedicated to combatting bullying.
UPDATE: the link to the original article in the Nova Scotia Herald no longer works, but I’ve updated it to a conveniant Google search.
Huge kudos for David Shepherd and Travis Price, high school seniors in Cambridge, Nova Scotia. Witnessing a 9th grader being picked on by a group of bullying 10th graders for wearing a pink shirt, they organized a pink-wearing day, and provided pink tank tops to all who would wear them. They managed to rally roughly half of the school’s students.
That, my friends, is courage. There were many ways to deal with the bullies, ranging from a beat-down to contacting their parents, but the course David and Travis took amounted to much more than just addressing the symptom — the bullying — they addressed an underlying problem, the silly notion that wearing a color is taboo because of your gender. Not only that, but they did it by involving the community of students, sending a far more powerful message than invoking the authority of the school supervisors.
To be sure there are other, deeper problems for the bullies than thinking that boys shouldn’t wear pink. They didn’t just think that, they acted on it in an unacceptable fashion. Their behavior is at least to some extent the product of their upbringing, etc., but the good thing is that when hundreds of students rally to say “that’s not ok”, it has a better chance than many other methods of getting across a message, and influencing the bullies behavior in the future.