Travis Price is the co-founder of the anti-bullying movement known as "Pink Shirt Day”. On November 6, 2012, Travis came to STM to speak with grade 10 students about this movement, the effects of bullying, as well as how to prevent and stop it.
When Travis was 17, he witnessed a grade 9 boy being bullied at school for wearing a pink shirt. After watching this take place, Travis and his friends decided to take stand against bullying.
He and his friends, including Pink Shirt Day's other co-founder David Shepherd, took action by going to the nearest department store and purchasing as many pink tank tops as they could. They also turned to social media and enlisted the help of as many people as they could find to participate in the event through Facebook and Twitter. The next day, Travis stood in his school’s foyer and handed out the pink shirts to students to combat the bullying and show support for the grade 9 boy. Many students took part in the event and came to school wearing pink.
Travis is now 22 years old and spoke to STM students about his own struggles with bullying and how he overcame his challenges. Travis told his personal story of bullying which took place when he was in grade 7. He didn’t have many friends at the time, so when two girls asked him to hang out with them he jumped at the chance. Travis went to a park near the school to meet up with the girls but found there was a boy there as well. He didn’t mind, it gave him a chance to make another friend. Unfortunately, their motives were far from friendly. His new "friends" began excluding him so Travis decided to leave but as he stood up to go, the boy threw Travis over his shoulder causing Travis to land on his ankle. Travis got up to leave again but was unable to walk due to his injured ankle. When he fell, the girls ran over and kicked him in the ribs until he attempted to get up again. He tried and failed to get up multiple times and every time he fell, the girls were there to kick him while he was down.
After a while, they left and Travis crawled home. When his mother asked him what was wrong, he made up a poor excuse and crawled into his room. He then remembers waking up in the hospital. He had a broken ankle, three broken ribs on one side of his chest, two on the other, and one of his ribs was putting pressure on his lungs which had caused him to collapse.
Travis has been through it all. He lost a friend to bullying, he was called names and made fun of throughout his life, and was even brutally attacked. For him to overcome these struggles and stand up for the grade 9 boy took courage.
Travis mentioned a girl named Ashley, who took two seconds of her life to tell these his bullies to stop picking on him. She then continued on with her life and probably doesn’t remember what she did. Travis does. He remembers the moment as a time he saw hope. He had hope for a new friend, someone who wasn’t going to torment or abuses him.
Travis Price is now an accomplished speaker; he spoke at the June 2012 PrevNet Conference and is also the National Representative for the Red Cross Respect Ed. Program. The advice he gave to our grade 10 Knights is to say "hello" to people who you notice are alone, go to a teacher or authority figure and let them know if you are being bullied or if you know someone who is. A teacher or authority figure can do much more than you think. Travis mentioned that he hates the words "snitch", "rat", and "tattle tale", since those are often applied to the people who helped him. You aren’t a tattle tale; you could be saving someone’s life.
Don’t forget to participate in “Pink Shirt Day” on February 27th to support those who weren’t heard and those who continue to be silent. Promote anti-bullying, wear pink on February 27th , and stand up for all those who are not able to.