Anti-bullying movement co-founder tours province
Travis Price, co-founder of Pink Shirt Day, telling Maritimers 'Enough's enough'
Students in Petitcodiac and Moncton got to meet a young Maritimer behind the global Pink Shirt Day campaign on Monday.
Travis Price, co-founder of Pink Shirt Day, started the movement five years ago after witnessing a Grade 9 student being bullied for wearing a pink shirt.
"It wasn't something that a kid should be made fun of for," he said. "We just decided after the experience I had with bullying, something needed to be done, somebody needed to say something."
Price and fellow Grade 12 student at the time, David Shepherd, went to a nearby discount store and bought 50 pink shirts to wear to school the next day.
"I was bullied from Grade 1 to 12," Price told the room full of New Brunswick students Monday.
During that time, there were many days that Price said he dreaded going to school. He said he felt alone against his bullies.
"Bullying was a problem, it's a problem in every school. You know so for me personally I wanted to do something," he said.
"This was kind of younger Travis standing up for himself and coming out and saying, 'Enough's enough.'"
Standing up in numbers is Price's message to students.
Students, like Grade 11 Kira Dalling, were listening.
"I think it was really inspiring," said Dalling. "People who are bullied, I think should follow what he has done, and how he has dealt with it."
"I was sitting there and I could almost, it was like me talking up there," said Grade 11 student Tristen Terry. "Everything that he was saying, I could almost say (I experienced) the exact same situation."
Terry said he was so badly bullied he transferred schools last year. He said he didn't want to go out, couldn't concentrate at school, and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"I spent most of my Grade 10 year in therapy," he said. "But this year, I actually got the chance to make the varsity football team, and I guess things are going good. I got my grades back up, my marks are back up and teachers love me."
Price now works for the Red Cross in their anti-bullying program. He said he hopes stories like his and Terry's will encourage others to take a stand against bullying.
"I might have made a difference," Price said. "Whether they're going to stand up and do the same. You know, maybe they're close to the edge, and now they're going to see what a 'not popular' guy at his high school can do."
Price is speaking across the New Brunswick as part of the province-wide Anti-Bullying Awareness Week.
He will visit 13 high schools from Monday through Thursday.