Bullying is bullying. A person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people is a bully and therefore capable of bullying. Bullying is the use of force or coercion to abuse or intimidate others. The behavior can be habitual and involve an imbalance of social or physical power. It can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion and may be directed repeatedly towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or ability. If bullying is done by a group, it is called mobbing. The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a “target”. No one wants to be or deserve to be a target.
According to recent articles in St. Lucie County’s Lucie Link Newsletter, Northport K-8 students, Treasure Coast High School students and students and staff at Windmill Point Elementary School, as part of the district-wide anti-bullying campaign, are standing up to stand out in support of a worthy cause as illustrated by the following ‘pink’ activities:
Northport K-8 students joined Treasure Coast High School senior Rebecca Cowan and empowered each other against the harmful effects of bullying recently. Students in grades K-5 read stories, discussed bullying issues and worked in activity books designed by Rebecca. Students in all grades worked together to bring the powerful message by wearing the color pink! Students donned pink shirts, pink headbands, pink jewelry, pink socks and pink ribbons to show their support for the special project. Rebecca joined all the Northport 8th grade girls in the media center for a discussion and an open and frank talk about the effects of bullying and what to do to empower themselves against bullies. The entire day at Northport was devoted to student empowerment at all levels.
Students and staff at Windmill Point Elementary School recently put on their hats and dressed in pink to show their support for two worthy causes. As part of the district-wide Stand Up to Stand Out anti-bullying campaign, everyone pulled out their pink attire and wore it proudly to proclaim that bullying is not tolerated on our campus. As a Community Outreach effort, students and staff made contributions to United Way and held their heads high with their favorite hats. Community Outreach is a school support committee which works to give back to the community and show the school’s compassion for others.
The whole concept of standing up to bullying by standing out in pink began with two Nova Scotia students (as reported by CBC News) who 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.
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 flush 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.
REF: Lucie Links Newsletter (SLCSD) November 2012
REF: PBC Literacy Coalition www.pbcliteracy.org