Live your Unitarian Universalist values out loud. Make your year-end gift today!
By Elisa Pearmain.
Scott was nervous on his first day of junior high school. Junior high started with the fifth grade in his town. He was going to be among the youngest kids in school, and everything was new to him. He had loaded his back pack with all the things on the back to school list and his favorite lunch and snacks. He even wore his favorite pink tee-shirt for good luck.
When he got off of the bus and starting walking into the school he realized how big the seventh and eighth graders were. He sure hoped he got his growth spurt soon. He didn't see any of his friends. Inside the school, he followed signs to his new homeroom, Room 205. Suddenly he felt himself being slammed into the lockers on the side of the hall. When he looked up there were at least five older kids looking down on him. "Hey, girly boy," the tallest one scowled. "Boys don't wear pink in this school. You hear?" "Yeah," said another with a really deep voice, "and if you do it again you're gonna get a beating." The first boy grabbed him by the back pack and lifted him off the ground.
A teacher's voice called, "Break it up and keep moving."
The gang of boys moved off. Scott looked up. It didn't seem as if the teacher had even seen him in the middle of that. But several other students did. Two equally tall boys came walking over to Scott. He started to walk away but one of them put out his hand. "Hey, man, it's okay. I'm Travis."
"I'm David," said the other boy. "We saw what happened back there. What did those kids say to you?"
Scott told them what had happened, and the threat they had made.
"That's ridiculous," said Travis. "You can wear whatever you want to this school."
Travis and David walked Scott to his homeroom. "We'll be keeping an eye out for you Scott," they promised him.
That day after school Travis and David went back to David's house. "It makes me so mad that a few bullies tell everyone what they can and can't wear. We should do something about that," said David.
"Yeah, but what can we do?" asked Travis.
"We could tell the teachers," David suggested.
"Yeah but they'd still do it on the bus, or at recess, or after school," said Travis.
"We need to take it to the people!" David suggested.
"Yeah," said Travis, a look of excitement growing on his face. "Hey, I have an idea! Let's ask our friends if they will wear pink on Monday."
"Yeah," smiled David, "not just our friends, but everyone."
"Excellent," grinned Travis, "I can see it now, a sea of pink!"
They called their friend Adam to tell him the plan. He suggested they go to the mall to buy a whole bunch of pink tee-shirts. They asked their friends to chip in and bought 75 tee-shirts for kids who didn't have pink. Then they decided to send out the word to everyone in the school. Just about everyone was on Facebook. The word spread fast.
That next Monday, David and Travis were at school early, with their boxes of 75 pink tee-shirts. Many kids got off of the bus with pink tee-shirts on, and those who didn't got to take one from the boxes. Travis and David also brought pink fabric, and some kids used it to make pink armbands. One kid brought a pink basketball to recess. At least 415 of the students in the school—over half the kids, both boys and girls—wore pink.
That day in school the bullies were mad. They gave the kids in pink dirty looks and one of them even threw a chair in the cafeteria, but people just laughed. The bullies knew that the boys had gotten their message across—a message about bullying and people looking out for each other. It made almost everyone in the school feel happier.
And what about Scott? He wore his favorite pink tee-shirt to school that Monday, underneath his sweatshirt. When he got off the bus and saw how many kids wore pink, he took off his sweatshirt and wore his "good luck" tee-shirt proudly.
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Last updated on Tuesday, August 21, 2012.
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