Pink Shirt Day originator to speak at Monterey school in Oak Bay

Travis Price continues anti-bullying movement with Island tour

Pink Shirt Day founder Travis Price speaks to Mount Douglas secondary students in 2016. (Black Press Media file photo)

The man who started the Pink Shirt movement in 2007 will be in Oak Bay for B.C.’s Pink Shirt Day.

Travis Price will speak to the students at Monterey middle school on Wednesday morning before speaking at the Legislature after lunch.

It was Price and high school chum David Shepherd who inadvertently started the anti-bullying movement in the first week of school in Cambridge, N.S. When Price and Shepherd heard a student was mocked for wearing a pink shirt, they responded with a pink shirt protest. They purchased and distributed about 50 pink shirts for classmates to wear in response to the pink-shirt shaming incident a day before.

The Pink Shirt anti-bullying movement was born. Price visits Greater Victoria for the fourth year in a row this week, part of an 18-school tour in the Lower Mainland and Island. From Feb. 24 to 26 he’ll hit Victoria, Sooke, Langford, Royston and Cumberland, and also hopes to take in more of Vancouver Island that he’s missed in the past.

READ MORE: Saanich a rallying spot for Pink Shirt Day

At each school, Price tells his own story of when he was bullied, and too often, and in too many schools, the response is that students will quietly wait to approach him, often opening up for the first time about their own experience.

“Every year we set it up to reach 10,000 kids,” Price said. “That’s a lot of outreach for two weeks, it’s a phenomenal response.”

Pink Shirt Day has become an important time at Monterey each year, said principal Ken Andrews.

“We draw particular attention to the fabric of our school culture and how we interact with one another on a day-to-day basis, focusing on what we can do not only to prevent bullying, but to treat one another with genuine kindness,” Andrews said.

This year, the schools is feeling fortunate to have Price and will there will be a good portion of the school population in pink.

“… We desire an ever-more inclusive community that honours diversity and respect for one another, and abhors bullying!,” Andrews said.

Price’s speaking tour seemingly runs all year. It’s a full-time job, attending Pink Shirt Day and similar anti-bullying events from province to province. His 2020 tour is organized by the national charity WITS (Walk away, Ignore, Talk about it, Seek help), which was founded and continues to be based out of Victoria.

The anti-bullying movement continues to grow and the response is multi-layered, Price said.

“On top of Pink Shirt Day there is Bully Awareness week in November, and there’s always something, which shows how much it’s a full-time issue,” Price said. “I never expected it to be a full-time job yet schools want it, and schools need it.”

For one, there’s always another group of children who are ready to understand the message that they can make a difference and that they have the right to live free of bullying, Price said.

“There are kids who want to come up afterward ask questions they didn’t want to ask in front of the group,” Price said. “They just want that opportunity to have a conversation with someone they trust and I’m lucky enough that I’m someone they trust.”

In those cases, if it’s the student’s first time opening up, Price will report the situation back to the appropriate contacts.

The other response that continues to move him is from the teachers.

“It’s exciting for me to see a teachers’ excitement when I visit,” Price said. “You can see they’ve been [telling the story] of Pink Shirt Day.”

READ ALSO: Mother of Amanda Todd to speak at Reynolds for Pink Shirt Day

reporter@oakbaynews.com

Pink Shirt Day

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Pink Shirt Day founder Travis Price speaks to Mount Douglas secondary students in 2016. (Black Press Media file photo)

Just Posted

Lost dog reunited with family three months after going missing along Juan de Fuca trail

‘The poor thing was skin and bones,’ says one of the Sooke rescuers

Victoria family donates 878 falafel wraps to support Beirut blast victims

Wrap and Roll pulls in $20,500 during weekend fundraiser

Reimagined campaign continues to make Vancouver Island wishes come true

#UnWinedOutside allows participants to support Make-A-Wish Foundation, local businesses

Police investigating string of break-ins at closed Saanich care home

Electronics, tools reported stolen from Mount Tolmie Hospital

Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

‘Forest Defenders’ occupy road to prevent logging company from reaching Port Renfrew-area watershed

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Five B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Nanaimo woman will buy ‘supersonic’ hair dryer after $500,000 lotto win

Debra Allen won $500,000 in July 28 Lotto Max draw

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

Cougar euthanized after attacking little dog in Qualicum area

Owner freed pet by whacking big cat, but dog didn’t survive the attack

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Most Read