Bullied student tickled pink by schoolmates' T-shirt campaign
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 flushed 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.