Central Kings grad takes Pink Shirt Day message to PEI

Jim Day
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Travis Price, front left, the man behind the international Pink Shirt Day, poses with Joe Killorn and his son Dalton, both supporters of Price's anti-bullying campaign. Price is in Prince Edward Island this week to spread his peaceful message to students.

TC MEDIA

Travis Price continues to push his peaceful pink message.

Price, 24, has been campaigning against bullying for seven years now dating back to when he and fellow classmate, David Shepherd, organized a protest in support of a Grade 9 student at Central Kings Rural High School in 2007.

The younger boy was targeted by students and bullied because he was wearing a pink polo shirt to school. Price and Shepherd heard about the attack and bought 75 pink tank tops at a thrift store and told classmates they were going to hand them out the next day. Word of the plan spread quickly and hundreds of fellow students showed up wearing pink the next day, some head to toe.

That action was the first Pink Shirt Day. Today, millions around the world participate each year in pink days to stand up and speak out against bullying in schools, workplaces and communities.

Price continues to lead the charge, making his way into one school after another to give a spirited talk on an issue that he has helped move from the back room to the forefront.

Last week marked his second visit to Prince Edward Island to promote anti-bullying and highlight Pink Shirt Day, an annual event that drew participation from almost seven million people around the world in 2013.

Price was scheduled to speak to students at a number of schools in the province last week, but Mother Nature scrapped those plans by forcing school closures both days.

He plans to return to P.E.I. at a later date to speak to Island students.

Price says he is thrilled with how Prince Edward Island has bought into the pink shirt campaign, which he calls a simple way to raise awareness of a serious societal problem.

“The growth here has been great,’’ he says.

On a larger scale, Price is pleased with school boards and politicians recognizing and addressing the problem of bullying through policies and legislation.

His advice to children and youths who are being bullied but feel there is no way to end the torment?

“There is always somebody there to help. There is always somebody there to listen.’’

Price has had great response to his ongoing campaign. One incident that stands out is a girl in Nova Scotia who was bullied for having a tumor on her face.

Price brought a Pink Shirt Day event to her school that, the girl told him, made a big difference in her life.

He is determined to continue to spread his positive message, hitting schools across the country and promoting Pink Shirt Day, which is Wednesday, Feb. 26.

“I’ve been driving this ever since that day (in 2007),’’ he says. “I am never, ever, ever going to give this up.’’

Pink Shirt Day P.E.I. co-ordinator Joe Killorn says the province is “very fortunate’’ to have Price bring his message to Prince Edward Island.

He adds Pink Shirt Day is doing very well in the province.

“We are getting a lot of support from the community organizations,’’ he says. “We’re selling a lot of shirts . . . people really want to get involved.’’

 To learn more visit  www.pinkshirtday.ca.

Organizations: Central Kings Rural High School

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia

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