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Schoolmates turn
out in pink to support bullied student

Schoolmates turn
out in pink to support bullied student

Bullies who threatened a new student at their Nova Scotia high school for wearing a pink polo shirt were themselves schooled by two seniors who convinced half the student body to dress in pink two days later, the Chronicle-Herald of Halifax reported.

The newbie, a ninth grader, showed up in pink September 5 for the first day of class at Central Kings Rural High School and was set upon by a group of six to 10 older teens who called him gay and threatened to beat him up, the paper reported.

The next day, seniors David Shepherd and Travis Price decided to act.

"It's my last year. I've stood around too long and I wanted to do something," Shepherd told the newspaper. Price said he too could relate: Growing up, he said, he was picked on for wearing mass-market clothes instead of designer brands.

Enlisting as many students as they could online that evening, Shepherd and Price headed to school Friday with a pink basketball, 75 pink tank tops for male students to wear, and yards of pink fabric for headbands and armbands. They even persuaded a local retailer to open early so they could buy more.

"Clothes were flying. They were digging to help us find pink shirts," Shepherd told the Kings County Register.

They handed out the shirts in the lobby before class: Even the bullied student got one.

"He was all smiles. It was like a big weight had been lifted off his shoulder," Shepherd told the Chronicle-Herald.

Shepherd and Price figure about half the school's 830 students wore pink.

"The bullies got angry," Price told the Chronicle-Herald. "One guy was throwing chairs [in the cafeteria]. We're glad we got the response we wanted."

Shepherd said one of the bullies asked him whether he knew pink on a male was a symbol of homosexuality.

It doesn't matter, Shepherd responded. "Something like the color of your shirt or pants, that's ridiculous."

Central Kings principal Stephen Pearl told the Register, "It doesn't surprise me at all they'd want to do this--we have some great kids." He said the bullying is under investigation.

"We know who all the people are, and it will be dealt with with appropriate corrective behavior," Pearl said. (Barbara Wilcox, The Advocate)

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