A pink shirt

Pink shirt day in a school Photo by energeticcity, Flickr

Pink shirt day in a school
Photo by energeticcity, Flickr

Adapted from CBC News

Level 1

It is 2007.  A boy wakes up early.
It is his first day of school.
He is excited.
He puts on his new shirt.
It is pink.

Click here and listen to the story “A pink shirt” – read by Nila Gopaul

Read the PDF.


First day
The boy is happy to be in Grade 9.
He will have a new teacher.
He will make new friends.
Suddenly, some students begin to tease him.
They call him “gay”.
They say they will beat him up.
They say he must not wear a pink shirt.
These boys are bullies.
The boy does not understand.
He is very scared.

A sea of pink
Two Grade 12 students hear the news.
David Shepherd and Travis Price are upset.
They buy 50 pink shirts.
They say they will wear them to school the next day.
The two boys want a “sea of pink”.
Shepherd says later,
“I just figured enough was enough.”

Support from friends
Shepherd and Price e-mail all their friends.
The two boys say they have 48 shirts.
Who will help?
Many students say yes.
But hundreds of other students wear pink shirts, too.
Some wear pink pants and pink socks.

The next day, the boy in grade 9 sees pink everywhere.
The boy is so happy.
The bullies are silent.

Student artwork about bullying Photo by carmen^_^ (Carmen Tsang), Flickr

Student artwork about bullying
Photo by carmen^_^ (Carmen Tsang), Flickr

News travels
Price and Shepherd get calls from Alaska.
They get e-mails from all over the world.
In 2007, the news does not give the name
of the boy with the pink shirt.
But today we remember
the names of two boys, Shepherd and Price.
We remember they stopped some bullies.

www.TheWestcoastReader.com©2012-2014 The Official Westcoast Reader

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4 thoughts on “A pink shirt

  1. I love the way that every person find to fight with something silently! It was awesome how they helped the guy in grade 9 (and actually all other friends who might be bullied).
    This is how the new generation use networking !!

    • I agree with you, Azin. It was a creative way to silence the bullies while making a very strong point to the victim and the bystanders. The two boys got their friends involved and many more than they expected wore pink the next day. This is a wonderful story. Even more inspiring is the way in which so many others wanted to participate all over North America.

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