Palate Cleansing Feel-Good Story

This comes my way via reader Dick, and I think we can all use a palate cleanser, about now.

Bullied student tickled pink by schoolmates’ T-shirt campaignTwo Nova Scotia students 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.

Two students stand up for the right to wear a pink shirt without being harassed (CBC)

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.

Read the whole thing. Seems the bullies were discouraged from any further harassment, too.

There is video here

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Chris K

    Thanks for sharing! I do feel good now, actually. This kind of thing is so heart-warming on a cold winter’s day. I can only hope my own kids are so kind.

  • Homer J. Simpson

    Just because I’m wearing a pink shirt doesn’t mean I’m some sort of pink donut-eater!

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    I’d feel better about this if the bullies had actually suffered some sort of punishment, administered by the school.

  • Ryan Haber


    The tidal wave is WAY better than any punishment would/could have been. It will have exposed to the bullies their own unpopularity – physical force is never their actual, final threat, but rather humiliation and exclusion. This gesture shows everyone watching that (a) people won’t necessarily stand around and just watch others be senselessly humiliated; (b) people had better watch out if they think they want to take it upon themselves singlehandedly to decide who is fit for society. Moreover, I wouldn’t be shocked to see/hear that the bullies themselves tried sheepishly to wear pink, thus revealing, perhaps a bit, to themselves and to others (c) their own cowardice.

    Lastly, from a purely psychological perspective, I think that this show of grace was far more effective than any official force could have been at actually teaching the lesson, rather than merely engendering resentment.

  • dry valleys

    Do you ever think they’d be better off in uniforms? I wore a uniform at school- all schools in the city do, even if it’s just a sweatshirt/T shirt with the school’s logo on it- & it does remove a lot of problems to do with bullying & what have you.

    Mind you, there is some bullying when people from different schools mix. My school had a rivalry with a much better nearby school. Some parents would pull various tricks to get their offspring in there (mine tried, but failed), & let’s just say they didn’t get a warm welcome when they walked round the estate in hostile clothing.

    But it would iron out problems like this. The needs of conformity are reduced at a stroke.

    I have a pink shirt actually. I do feel slightly odd wearing it but I never think twice & no one has ever said anything to my face, even though I blatantly wouldn’t do anything if they did :)

    [I think uniforms in school is a great idea. But then, I'm a Catholic! -admin]

  • dry valleys

    I do applaud Shepherd & Price though. Laudable indeed.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Well, as far as resentment goes, these bullies obviously are already harboring a lot, considering the way they were acting. Ignoring them, hoping they’d learn better, trying to teach them by example, hadn’t worked so far, or diminished their anger at the world in general.

    Hopefully the bullies will learn something from this. I hope it won’t be to focus their bullying, in the future, on kids who aren’t likely to get a popular tidal wave behind them: the “weird” autistic kids (who might not be able to tell anyone what happened), the “retards”, ugly, overweight or unpopular kids.

    The problem is, shame is fleeting. Soon the self-justification returns. As I said, hopefully, the bullies did learn something from this.


  • DeLynn

    Definitely a palate cleanser! Great post.
    (BTW, our kids wear uniforms and they aren’t at a Catholic school. We all think it is great that they wear them.)

  • HVObserver

    Just out of curiosity — I wonder if any of the protesters wore one of the pink jerseys seen here. Just wondering.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    I think uniforms are a very good idea, Valleys, for a number of reasons—but stopping bullying isn’t one of them.

    I went to a Catholic school, where we all wore uniforms. There was still bullying. If it isn’t the clothing, bullies will find something else to pick on.

  • bt

    I remember a guy wearing a pink polo shirt in my high school class. He was the Valedictorian. My grandfather had a very nice pink dress shirt he would sometimes wear.

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  • Beth

    I’ve always told my husband and sons, “It takes a real man to wear pink.” It’s a great color, especially with a nice tie in the summer. By the way, on a trip to London last year, a majority of the businessmen we saw wore pastel-colored shirts with their suits – pink, lavendar, mint green, etc. They looked awesome and handsome!