#PinkShirtDay

“David Shepherd, Travis Price and their teenage friends organized a high-school protest to wear pink in sympathy with a Grade 9 boy who was being bullied [for wearing a pink shirt]…[They] took a stand against bullying when they protested against the harassment of a new Grade 9 student by distributing pink T-shirts to all the boys in their school.

‘I learned that two people can come up with an idea, run with it, and it can do wonders,’ says Mr. Price, 17, who organized the pink protest. ‘Finally, someone stood up for a weaker kid.’

So Mr. Shepherd and some other headed off to a discount store and bought 50 pink tank tops. They sent out message to schoolmates that night, and the next morning they hauled the shirts to school in a plastic bag.

As they stood in the foyer handing out the shirts, the bullied boy walked in. His face spoke volumes. ‘It looked like a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders,’ Mr. Price recalled.

The bullies were never heard from again.”

I haven’t been a student for years, but recently started working at a school. This is an issue I feel strongly about, not just because I’m in an environment now where this is a cause for concern, and not just because I think we all, at some point in our school years, have been subject to bullies, but because it is something that does continue to happen well into adulthood, and of course, online. Not to mention the fact that the emotional scars bullying can leave on a person can have an impact for years.

Stand up against bullies whenever you see them in action. Personally, I don’t hesitate to call someone out on this sort of behavior whenever I witness it, mostly because my sense of outrage compels me to say something. Whether it’s directed towards me, my friends, or strangers, it’s always been something that angers me GREATLY. And the secret I’ve found out is, in my personal experience, a bully generally gets frightened and flustered when confronted. The thing about bullies is that they tend to attack those they think are weak, or who won’t fight back. So when you firmly call them out on their behavior, and approach them with confidence and force, it’s been my experience that they have no idea how to react and generally back down. They’re cowards, essentially. And even if they do persist, at least by standing up to them you let them know their behavior is neither tolerated nor appropriate.

Most importantly- don’t BE a bully. Seriously. It’s not a good look. Basically what you’re saying to the world is, I feel so shitty about myself, I like myself so little that I am taking it out on other people in an effort to make myself feel better, that is how pathetic I am. My social skills are so seriously lacking that I don’t even know of a better way to deal with this than to act like an immature, irrational idiot. And frankly, people know this- they’re going to pity you more than anything else. So grow up and get some help- find some more productive ways to deal with your issues. There’s never a justification for unnecessarily hurting other people.

#PinkShirtDay

pinkshirtday.ca

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