Travis Price remembers seeing the Grade 9 student walk into his Nova Scotia school.
It was the first day of class and the teen, who was wearing pink, was harassed the moment he came through the door.
Price and his friend wanted to do something and decided to try to get everyone at the school to wear pink the next day to show the bullied student he wasn’t alone. It was a long shot, they knew, but they went out and bought everything pink they could find.
The message spread. Quickly. By the time the last bus showed up that morning, 850 students at the school were wearing pink.
“We never expected it. We thought we were going to help one kid, but we realized so many people were affected by bullying and just didn’t talk about it,” Price told students at Tamanawis Secondary Feb. 24 as part of a speaking tour at several Surrey schools.
Price and his buddy never dreamed what would happen next. Other Nova Scotia schools started calling, then others from across the country. Their story spread internationally. Ellen Degeneres even phoned to congratulate them.
Ten years later, 6.5 million people in 30 countries now participate in Pink Shirt Day annually, to promote kindness and send a message that bullying won’t be tolerated.
Price says it’s about making every day pink day.
“Each and every one of you can make a difference by standing up for someone,” Price said to the Surrey students. “One choice, one decision, one simple act of kindness.”
His tour was done in partnership with Coast Capital and the Red Cross, which offers a bullying prevention program called Beyond the Hurt.