David Shepherd and Travis Price

Province of Nova Scotia

A Simple Idea That's Big

Bullying may be as old as the world — but that doesn't make it right.

That's what two Nova Scotia teenagers thought in 2007 when a fellow Grade 9 student in Berwick was being teased and bullied for wearing a pink shirt on the first day of school. David Shepherd and Travis Price wanted to stand up to those who would bully a person for his choice of clothes or any other reason and show their solidarity with the student.

What David and Travis did was simple yet effective. They purchased and distributed fifty pink tank tops for other students to wear in solidarity. It showed the would-be bullies that the person being targeted did not stand alone. The bullying stopped. In recognition of their accomplishment, Nova Scotia proclaimed the second Thursday of September to be “Stand Up Against Bullying Day.”

In the decade since that day in Berwick, David's and Travis's idea has gone beyond Nova Scotia and been formally championed around the world. Other provinces declared Anti-Bullying Days. So too, a number of countries joined the campaign. In 2012, the United Nations gave its support and declared May 4 as "Anti-Bullying Day."

The dates marking Anti-Bullying Day vary from province to province and country to country, and so does the colour chosen. In Nova Scotia, the symbolic colour remains pink, but there are places where it's purple or blue. Colour aside, it's the idea that counts.

As David Price said: ‘I learned that two people can come up with an idea, run with it, and it can do wonders. Finally, someone stood up for a weaker kid.’