As my five year old daughter was putting on her pink shirt – which we tie-dyed last year in the Alta Vista Outdoor Rink ice shack with 20 of our friends – she asked me why we wear pink shirts on this day. I realized that she was too young last year to remember me telling the story … so I told it to her again this morning. I thought I would share it here in case some of your children don’t know the amazing story …..
A number of years ago, there was a boy in Nova Scotia who was starting his first day of grade nine. He was very excited to go to high school and he picked out his favourite pink shirt to wear on this first day of school. Some of the older boys, who were in grade twelve, decided to pick on him for wearing this pink shirt. They told him that pink is for girls and they said that they were going to beat him up the next day at school. These grade twelve boys were bullies. They made the grade nine boy feel very sad and very scared. He was probably very worried about going to school the next day.
But there were some other grade twelve boys, David and Travis, who heard about this and decided that they had had enough. David and Travis decided that they were going to show the bullies that bullying was not going to be tolerated this year. David and Travis went to a discount store and bought all the pink shirts they could find. They contacted all their friends and asked them to come over to get a pink shirt from them and wear it to school the next day.
News of this plan spread through the whole school community. The next day, not only were David and Travis’ friends wearing pink shirts, but hundreds of kids at the school were. It was a sea of pink everywhere you looked.
This sent a message to the bullies that the school was going to focus on kindness and inclusion this year – and that there was no room for bullying.
What is so amazing to me about this, and the message that I really want my kids, and all the World-Changing Kids who read this, to take in is that David and Travis defeated these bullies with their brains, instead of with force or strength. They brought their school community together to put a stop to bullying without anyone having to fight, without any violence. They chose kindness and inclusion.
So, I explained to my daughter that by wearing a pink shirt today, she is saying that there is no room for bullying and mean behaviour in her community. She is saying that she chooses kindness.
For more information on Pink Shirt Day you can check out their Facebook page or their website.