Teen


I got this from a teacher!  Not one of my teachers, but even so, every little bit helps.  Should I sue the teacher who gave me an 84 on a paper that I wrote in Arial?

Put your paper into Georgia, a serif font, and your grades may rise.

Some enterprising fellow at Fadtastic did the research, and discovered Georgia-fonted papers tend to get A grades, Times Roman-fonted papers get A- grades, and Trebuchet-fonted papers get B grades (”The Secret Lives of Fonts).

Of course, that’s what the type designers, book designers and web designers have been telling us for 20 years — a serif font is easier to read, and makes the reader feel more at ease.  When graders feel good, the paper gets a good grade.  That’s logical.

I also discovered that when faxed to news editors, sans serif fonts get better play.  If the press release is legible, it goes farther.

And, when I was taking broadcast courses, my grades rose significantly when my IBM Correcting Selectric II arrived, and I started doing all my scripts in Orator font.  The teacher, an active newsman at the time, graded higher when he recognized the font more — it was roughly the same font on the teleprompter at his station.

Pick your font and your transmission method accordingly.

The author of this non-scientific study is a web designer, of course.

I’ll bet you’ll find that conclusion, backed with some sort of research, in the book design and web design texts.

Remember when we all used typewriters, and such choices were not options at all?

Tip of the old scrub brush to Graceful Flavor.

Vaccine  I wrote about this issue once before. I am very glad that I got the vaccine and I hope that other states will do what Texas has done. Health care is more important than scaring girls into being celibate.

Here’s the update:

After controversy, more HPV vaccinations, doctors say

Some pediatricians say last year’s controversy over whether the state should mandate Texas schoolgirls to be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus has translated into more individuals getting the vaccine.

“It’s really kind of an interesting thing – the controversy has really helped us get the word out,” said Chris Turley, vice chair for clinical services at the University of Texas Medical Branch’s Pediatrics Department.

“We really do have moms coming and asking for it. … People forget about the tetanus shot because it’s been around forever, but they come in knowing about this and wanting it for their daughters.”

Since July, Galveston-based UTMB pediatric clinics have been administering about 60 doses a month, Turley said.

Gov. Rick Perry set off a political furor last year by ordering that girls get the vaccine, which protects against a handful of HPV strains that cause cervical cancer. His action irritated conservatives and the Republican-controlled Legislature later undid his executive order.

Texas would have been the first state to require the immunizations.

Since then, the Virginia and New Jersey legislatures passed a school vaccine requirement, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.

HPV infects about 20 million people in the United States with 6.2 million new cases each year, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Perry’s office said he is pleased his actions have prompted Texas families to talk about the vaccine.

“As the numbers are showing, many girls are being vaccinated, and the governor views that as a positive result of generating this debate in Texas and throughout the nation,” Krista Piferrer said.

Though Perry can’t legally order the HPV vaccine for schoolgirls for at least three more years, Piferrer said he hasn’t given up the fight.

“The governor still believes this is a valuable tool to protect young girls against cancer,” she said.

UTMB pediatrics professor Dr. Martin Myers said there are still some unanswered questions – such as who would pay for the cost of the vaccine and what sort of demand would it create on its manufacturer – that still make the idea of mandating the vaccine premature.

There was a “considerable interest in the vaccine” in 2007, said Jack Sims, immunization branch manager of the Texas Department of State Health Services.

He did not have information about how many Texans were vaccinated last year, but he said the state was collecting that information for the first time in a survey to be released this spring.

Cassie’s avatarAre you the same person online as you are in the real physical world?

I was once accused online of being an old man who goes into chat rooms naked pretending to be a teenage girl. Ew! Can’t imagine anyone who meets me in person accusing me of that, but it makes me wonder.

Who are the real people behind the names at the blogs where I read and comment? Are they lying about who they are? Their gender? Their age? How would you know? Leave aside the pervs and the creeps, and wonder why people are so different? Probably they don’t like who they are. Are there other reasons?

I am more upbeat and more outgoing online than I am in person. Also more athletic. But I am still me. Are you?

Then again, I meet a lot of “real” people who are much more like avatars than human beings. High school can be like that but so can churches and synagogues. In HS, you understand that we’re all still becoming who we will grow up to be, and so it’s OK to try on new interests and new styles. But new personalities? No thank you!

But there are also a lot of adults, way past 20 or 25 adults, who act more like internet avatars than actual humans. I know someone who calls the Stepford Wives. They’re pretty scary, and sometimes it hurts to find out who the human being underneath actually is.

In 2008 I want to become a little more like my online avatar, and I want her to become a little more like me.

So, the new research on sex education shows that if y’all bother to teach us the real facts of sex education, we tend to be more responsible about sex and even to wait longer before we start.  So, of course the right wingers prefer not to teach us and just hope we do what they think is right.  Smart?  NO!  But it lets them bury their head in the sand so more teens can get sexually transmitted diseases and become pregnant.

This is what CarpetbaggerReport says about it:

Abstinence-only fails, sex ed doesn’t

The WaPo reported the other day that at least 14 states have “either notified the federal government that they will no longer be requesting [sex education] funds or are not expected to apply,” because the Bush administration mandates abstinence-only lessons in public schools receiving the funding.

“We’re concerned about this,” said Stan Koutstaal of the Department of Health and Human Services, which runs the program. “My greatest concern about states dropping out is that these are valuable services and programs. It’s the youths in these states who are missing out.”

Actually, that’s backwards. The youths are better off with actual sex-ed.

Teenagers who have had formal sex education are far more likely to put off having sex, contradicting earlier studies on the effectiveness of such programs, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

They found teenage boys who had sex education in school were 71 percent less likely to have intercourse before age 15, and teen girls who had sex education were 59 percent less likely to have sex before age 15.

Sex education also increased the likelihood that teen boys would use contraceptives the first time they had sex, according to the study by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

“Sex education seems to be working,” Trisha Mueller, an epidemiologist with the CDC who led the study, said in a statement. “It seems to be especially effective for populations that are usually at high risk.”

Whaddaya know; giving young people reliable, accurate information about sexual health leads to safer, more responsible behavior. Who would have guessed?

And on the flip side, we have the Bush administration’s approach.

Programs that focus exclusively on abstinence have not been shown to affect teenager sexual behavior, although they are eligible for tens of millions of dollars in federal grants, according to a study released by a nonpartisan group that seeks to reduce teen pregnancies.

“At present there does not exist any strong evidence that any abstinence program delays the initiation of sex, hastens the return to abstinence or reduces the number of sexual partners” among teenagers, the study concluded. […]

The study found that while abstinence-only efforts appear to have little positive impact, more comprehensive sex education programs were having “positive outcomes” including teenagers “delaying the initiation of sex, reducing the frequency of sex, reducing the number of sexual partners and increasing condom or contraceptive use.”

“Two-thirds of the 48 comprehensive programs that supported both abstinence and the use of condoms and contraceptives for sexually active teens had positive behavior effect,” said the report.

Bush has routinely talked, in other contexts, about funding “what works.” If only he meant it.

Good for these parents and these students!  I know that I have gone to all great schools, much better than a lot of them in Texas.  You should be able to get a great education even if you are poor, and I hope these families win their lawsuit.

Suit seeks to stop HISD’s $805 million bond sale

By ERICKA MELLON Houston Chronicle

A group of students and parents have filed a federal lawsuit against
the Houston school district, alleging persistent discrimination against
poor and minority children and asking a judge to stop the sale of bonds
for new school construction.

The parents, joined by several black politicians and ministers who
opposed the school district’s November bond election, announced this
morning that they filed the lawsuit late Friday.

“As a parent, I believe Dr. King once said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a
threat to justice everywhere,'” said Ann Tillis, one of the parents who
filed the lawsuit. “And so today I come to serve notice to HISD that no
longer will my child, or any child in HISD, be treated with such
educational injustice.”

Houston Independent School District officials said the lawsuit is “without merit.”

“As we would with any legal action, we take this filing seriously,”
the district’s lawyer, Elneita Hutchins-Taylor, said in a written
statement. “However, this lawsuit is without merit and we will move
right away to have it dismissed so that we can get on with the business
of building schools for children.”

Voters narrowly approved HISD’s $805 million bond package last month.

ericka.mellon@chron.com

In general, I have really strong opinions about things. But I am not sure how I feel about the reports of online bullying of kids. On the one hand, kids need to be protected from sexual abuse and all that kind of stuff. On the other hand, is the online world better or worse than the regular world?

Here is what CNN is saying:

ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) — As many as one in three U.S. children have been ridiculed or threatened through computer messages, according to one estimate of the emerging problem of cyberbullying.

 

art.child.computer.jpg

 

The frequency and severity of online aggression experienced by young people is the topic of new research.

Another new study found the problem is less common, with one in 10 kids reporting online harassment.

But health experts said even the lower estimate signals a growing and concerning public health issue.

“I wouldn’t consider something that 10 percent of kids report as low,” said Janis Wolak, a University of New Hampshire researcher and co-author of the second study.

Wolak and other researchers, though, found that in many cases the incidents of online harassment were relatively mild.

What they don’t say is how young the “kids” are and how bad the harassment is. Are they being harassed by kids or adults? Did anyone teach them how to reply or don’t reply? I’ve had a few really pesky obnoxious boys send me way too many IM’s or weird messages, but I just blocked them on my IM and my email.

Compare that 10% to this:

The schoolyard continues to be a source of in-person bullying: Studies indicate roughly 17 percent of early adolescents say they are victims of recurring verbal aggression or physical harassment.

One adult sent me two pictures of sexy ladies with blood all over them, through my facebook page. That was creepy and I blocked him, reported him, and told other people to stay away from him. That was at 15. I probably would have been more freaked out at 12 or 13, but that’s probably why I wasn’t allowed to get a facebook account until high school.

Sometimes online bullying can be very serious, like the case of the thirteen year old who was deceived by an adult and fell in love with a non-existent cute boy.

Last week, officials in a Missouri town made Internet harassment a misdemeanor, after public outrage over the suicide of a 13-year-old resident last year.

The parents of Megan Meier claim their daughter, who had been treated for depression, committed suicide after a teenage boy who flirted with her on MySpace abruptly ended their friendship, telling her he heard she was cruel. The story gained national prominence this month when it was revealed the boy never existed — it was a prank allegedly started by a mother in the girl’s neighborhood.

This was a HORRIBLE story, but the biggest problem is that the “prank” was done by an adult. A really immature and mean adult!

I think that the difference, at least for me, is whether the person doing the harassing is a kid or an adult. I know how to answer back, ignore or even punch kids who are mean or who tease. Online, I have “ignore” buttons and know how to block emails. But it’s much harder for me to be rude to an adult. I think that’s true for most kids and teens. and it is probably the reason that kids can be victims to molesters.

(Big Brother STOP reading. The rest if this is private. )

When I first started wanting to surf the internet, my brother gave me a limited account and he checked the sites I went to, the people on my buddy list, and even said he had the right to read my emails. I don’t use my last name online and don’t use my real photo. I was not allowed to do facebook or myspace until 9th grade.

I became politically active online in 8th grade and met adults from all over the world. My brother got extremely involved in my buddy lists and my emails, and I resented it, but I also know he was protecting me.

I complain a lot that I live with Big Brother from 1984, but when I read news stories about kids who were so deceived that they killed themselves, I am glad that my brother protected me from a lot of the internet hate, and in a few years I’ll probably be glad that my google and yahoo searches are restricted.

I am terrible at writing conclusions to essays. I have nothing to conclude here. Maybe just this. Kids can usually work out kid stuff with other kids, but I think it is OK for adults to restrict kids on the internet since you never know if the person on the other end of your chat is another kid or an adult impersonating a kid. And …. nobody should bully. If you are bullying or being mean, it is time to see a counselor and learn to be nice to other people.

I guess that was two conclusions. Oh well.

I am a statistic:

Two-point-four million American children have a mother or father in jail or prision right now.

….

The children of prisioners suffer from anxiety and attention disorders, or from post-traumatic stress. They are likely to bounce from one care-giver to another;  

Fortunately, I don’t fit the statistics in other ways:

..to have and to cause trouble in school. Often poor to begin with, they get poorer once a parent is arrested.

These children are far from blind to their parents’ failings-they live with them every day , and they have more at stake than anyone in seeing their mothers and fathers rehabilitated, and living within the law. But in one way or another, most say the same thing: things were hard. Mom got arrested. Things got worse.

In my case, things got a lot better, but mostly because of things that had nothing to do with the crimes my mom went to jail for.   The reality is that my mom’s life would be much better if she were getting psych and drug abuse treatment rather than being in prison, and we would probably worry about her a lot less.

Politically, this is the part of that article that jumped out at me, but I don’t know enough about the issue know what the solution is:

“A successful corrections system doesn’t grow”, criminologist Stephen Richards has observed. “If they were correcting anybody, they’d shrink”. As our failing prison system continues to expand its reach, more and more of our children fall under its shadow, denied the light of parental attention they need in order to grow.

I may be a statistic, but none of these statistics means that I have to turn out a certain way.  There are a lot of my mom’s footsteps I don’t plan to follow.

These kids care about their health and the health of all their classmates. They protested, got suspended, got press, and MADE A DIFFERENCE! Now their school will be cleaned and even the other schools in their district. Good for them! (The part about their protest is at the end of the article in bold.)

Entire school system to be scrubbed after superbug case

PIKEVILLE, Kentucky (AP) — An eastern Kentucky school district with one confirmed case of antibiotic-resistant staph infection plans to shut down all 23 of its schools Monday, affecting about 10,300 students, to disinfect the facilities.

 

art.staph.ap.jpg

Workers clean a classroom in Chicago, Illinois. Staph infections have spread recently through several schools.

The project will involve disinfecting classrooms, restrooms, cafeterias, hallways, locker rooms, buses and even external areas such as playgrounds and sports fields, said Roger Wagner, superintendent of Pike County schools.

“We’re not closing schools because there’s been a large number of breakouts, but as a preventive measure,” Wagner said.

One Pike County student was diagnosed with in September with MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The bacterial strain can be treated with other antibiotics, but without treatment it can be deadly.

The bacteria was blamed for the death of a 17-year-old Virginia high school senior and a 12-year-old New York City middle school student this month.

At least seven students on New York’s Long Island were recently diagnosed with MRSA, as were 10 members of an athletic team at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York.

However, a government report has estimated it may sicken more than 90,000 Americans each year.

Two weeks ago, students staged a sit-in at the lunch room of Pike Central High School in effort to get school officials to clean the school as protection against the bacteria.

Most abandoned the sit-in after Principal David Rowe threatened them with a three-day suspension, but 33 stayed and were given the choice of one day of in-school suspension or two days out-of-school suspension.

Three chose out-of-school suspension.

I liked the movie Spy Kids when it first came out, and parts of the second movie were filmed near where I live. Never saw the third one. I know some middle school kids that want to be spies when they grow up, and Valerie Plame seems pretty cool. But ……

Should kids be spies NOW when they are kids? Here in America?

In the book 1984, the adults are afraid that their kids will rat them out, and some kids really did that in Germany during World War II. But it is NOT part of what the United States is about

The NSA has a website where they’re teaching kids how to spy. Learning codes seems fun and the brain teasers are cool, but the section called “How can I work for the NSA?” seems a little extreme for kids that like websites made of “crypto-cat” and other cartoon rabbits and puppies.

This case is just wrong. Kids should be able to choose their books at school and at the library. The parents and the administrators here are in the wrong. Let the kids read, especially if it’s a book that has won awards and can teach things and not just a book that is violent for no reason.

Teacher put on leave after book complaint

By ANGELA K. BROWN

TUSCOLA
— A popular English teacher has been placed on paid leave — and faces possible criminal charges — after a student’s parents complained to police that a ninth-grade class reading list contained a book about a murderer who has sex with his victims’ bodies.

Kaleb Tierce, 25, is being investigated for allegedly distributing harmful material to a minor after the student selected Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God off the list and read it.

Tierce, a third-year teacher and assistant football coach at Jim Ned High School, has not been arrested, but his case has caused an uproar in this West Texas town of 700 people. Last week, more than 120 parents and students crowded into a meeting where the school board voted to keep Tierce on paid leave.

Most parents say Tierce should be reinstated, regardless of whether the book is too graphic for teens.

“He’s a great teacher and coach and motivates the kids like no one else can,” said Chris Garcia, whose daughter was in one of Tierce’s classes. “If you’re trying to protect your kids from things in books, you may as well turn off the TV and video games. You try to protect them as much as you can, but these days kids are just exposed to so much.”

Tierce, who has not been charged with any wrongdoing, declined to comment when
asked by The Associated Press about the allegations.

Some students and athletes have worn armbands to school and football games
emblazoned with Tierce’s initials, hiding them under clothing. Others said teens were meeting secretly to decide how to help the teacher they believe did nothing wrong.

“He was the only one who understood us,” said Patrisha Ramirez, 15. “He would joke around. He would make English interesting, for once.”

In Tuscola, south of Abilene, Child of God was on a list of titles compiled by all the high school English teachers for a pre-Advanced Placement class.

Although administrators’ approval was not required for the list, school officials have since removed the book because they deemed it inappropriate for ninth-graders.

The book tells the story of a town’s outsider who is falsely accused of rape, then begins killing people. The character ends up living in a cave with his victims’
decomposing bodies. The 1974 novel “plumbs the depths of human degradation,” according to its back cover.

The parents of one ninth-grade student filed a police report on Oct. 1 with the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office. Before contacting law enforcement officials, they complained to the teacher and principal, said district Superintendent Kent LeFevre, who declined to reveal their discussions.

The superintendent placed Tierce on administrative leave on Oct. 9.

Sheriff’s Sgt. John Cummins said the case will be turned over to the district attorney once the investigation is complete. Distributing harmful material to a minor is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

Disclaimer: I am a kid. A teenager. Nearly 16. That said,

ADULTS SHOULD NOT LIE TO KIDS!!!!!

They told us at school that we were going to have PSAT tests today, that they were very important for college, and that our ability to get a scholarship could be improved by doing very well on these tests. We got “how-to” guides and practice questions and even an afternoon extra class if we wanted.

angry-face.jpgAND IT WAS ALL A LIE!!!!!

Only 11th grade’s test counted. NOT 9th and NOT 10th, but we all took it.

And now they’re gonna wonder why nobody studies for the next “really important”test or believes them the next time they tell us something. AAAAAACCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!

I am nearly 16 years old. (November 1st is the big day!) School wants me to not have sex, my family wants me to not have sex. But how old were my parents when they started having sex? Seems like it matters, at least in England!

The Beat Goes On: Kids Start Sex at Same Age as Parents, Grandparents

Next time your parents tell you that you should wait to have sex, just show them this survey. According to a new report entitled Sexual Health in Canada, is that adolescent sexual practices have remained largely unchanged for decades. Linda Capperauld, executive director of the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health said that the survey shows that “Young people aren’t having sex any younger than their parents or grandparents.”

HEALTH: SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR

Youth start sex at same age as their parents, grandparents did

Practices unchanged in decades, report says

PUBLIC HEALTH REPORTER

The common media image of today’s youth is that they have, under a steady barrage of sexually charged images, become increasingly precocious – engaging in intercourse at a younger and younger age and with a dizzying array of partners.

But the reality, according to a new report entitled Sexual Health in Canada, is that adolescent sexual practices have remained largely unchanged for decades. “Young people aren’t having sex any younger than their parents or grandparents,” Linda Capperauld, executive director of the Canadian Federation for Sexual Health, said in an interview.

Nor – despite suggestive music videos, ready access to Internet porn and creeping hemlines – are more teens having sex.

Nationwide, only 28 per cent of adolescents age 15 to 17 report having had sex, a figure that rises to 65 per cent by age 18 to 19.

All told, the mean age for sexual intercourse is 16.5 years, about where it’s been since the sexual revolution that was launched by today’s baby boomers.

Despite the closing gender gap – equal numbers of boys and girls now say they have had sex – the primary reason for not having done so remains remarkably unchanged from previous generations: Most girls said they were not ready, while most boys reported a lack of opportunity. The No. 2 reason for both sexes is the same: “I haven’t met the right person.”

But when they do, teens are remarkably faithful. The number with a single sexual partner is on the rise.

more

I have heard a lot of liberal and progressive adults say that is is indecent and wrong to criticize 12-year-old boys. I disagree. There are a lot of reasons why you might criticize 12 year-old boys. Some of them don’t shower often enough and they have terrible table manners and their sense of humor can be really gross. In fact, GROSS is one of the nicest things you can say about them. But they are not cowards and nobody should criticize them for needing health care, for not being poor enough for medicaid, or for not saying their own opinions. Adults should not bully children.

Graeme Frost is a kid with a lot of courage and I hope he shows the Fox Noise creeps that he is not a tool for the democrats. (Graeme, brush your teeth, take a shower WITH soap, don’t eat spaghetti tomorrow, and you will be fine.) Watch Graeme on MSNBC Monday night.

Swiftboating 12 year old Graeme Frost; Frost on Countdown Monday

Graeme Frost two weeks ago gave the Democrat’s response to the President’s radio address. You will remember that his family is middle class, and he had public health insurance that saved his family from financial ruin after he and his sister were grievously injured in a car wreck, both needing physical therapy. But, the Neo-con attack dogs immediately and shamelessly Swiftboated him. I cannot say it better than Paul Krugman did in Sliming Graeme Frost in the NY Times. Countdown has video here.

On Monday evening, Master Frost will be on Countdown.

More… Yesterday, I had a flashback to the film (yes, before video) of the Army-McCarthy hearings with the now legendary Joseph Welch, the Army’s private counsel from Boston, taking on the bombastic Sen. Joseph McCarthy. I pondered that analogy over night. I don’t have to see the film again, because it is burned into my memory.

We have all seen that piece, as quoted on Wikipedia:

“Until this moment, Senator, I think I never gauged your cruelty or your recklessness[…]” When McCarthy resumed his attack, Welch interrupted him: “Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” He then left the room to loud applause from the spectators, and a recess was called.

The full transcript is on History Matters.

American Neo-cons are so invested in perpetuating frauds on the American people in the name of Republican-politics-as-usual that they cannot admit that one person with a contrary view might have a point. To quote one legendary Neo-con:

As soon as by one’s own propaganda even a glimpse of right on the other side is admitted, the cause for doubting one’s own right is laid.

(Hint: It is not Ronald Reagan.)

Now, they have stooped so low as to attack a 12 year old boy, too, and that is as utterly and gutterly low as they can get.

For those who would attack a 12 year old boy, “At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

Ah, but that’s the rub: For a Neo-con to have a “sense of decency” is an absolute contradiction.

Watch this 12 year old boy call out the Neo-cons tomorrow night on Countdown.

No, not really, but aren’t they outrageous?  I need a pair of these.  Not for wearing, just for showing off.

red-shoes001.jpg

photo from http://www.dahothouse.com/media/shoes001.jpg

I HATE beauty pageants. Big time hate. But I know I will need a scholarship to go to college and I support girls that do the beauty pageant thing in order to get a scholarship. So reading stories like this bothers me. They’re combining to try to keep her from collecting. I hope she wins!

tiaraThe Tiara Was Nice. Now Where’s the Scholarship?

Ashley Wood, 2004’s Miss South Carolina, is locked in a dispute with the pageant over its failure to distribute the scholarship that was part of her prize.

….

You are talking about an organization that is promoting itself as the largest scholarship provider for women in the world,” Ms. Wood, 26, said of the Miss America Organization. “When contestants try to collect their funds, they encounter one obstacle after another.”

Ms. Wood said she was told that she would not get the $20,000 for winning the Miss South Carolina pageant in part because her two local pageants had not paid her $950 that she had won from them (Ms. Wood said that after she enrolled in classes, one group reneged on payment and the other dodged her when she tried to collect). In turn, because she did not receive the state money, the national pageant sent her a letter in June saying she was ineligible for the $5,000 from it, even though the deadline to use her national scholarship had not passed. “It’s like a game of gotcha,” she said. “What is very clear to me is that the goal is to not give out the scholarships if at all possible.”

It’s very hard to stand up to a bully on your own. Bullies can be very intimidating, which is why bullying works until someone stops the bully. This is a wonderful account of how some high school kids in Canada reacted to a bully in their school, and how they worked as a group to show that the bully’s opinion was meaningless.

 

students in pink shirts

‘I’ve stood around too long’
Central Kings students wear pink to send bullies a message
By IAN FAIRCLOUGH Valley Bureau | 3:51 PM

CAMBRIDGE — Two students at Central Kings Rural High School fought back against bullying recently, unleashing a sea of pink after a new student was harassed and threatened when he showed up wearing a pink shirt.

The Grade 9 student arrived for the first day of school last Wednesday and was set upon by a group of six to 10 older students who mocked him, called him a homosexual for wearing pink and threatened to beat him up.

The next day, Grade 12 students David Shepherd and Travis Price decided something had to be done about bullying.

RELATED: Pink shirts legend grows

“It’s my last year. I’ve stood around too long and I wanted to do something,” said David.

They used the Internet to encourage people to wear pink and bought 75 pink tank tops for male students to wear. They handed out the shirts in the lobby before class last Friday — even the bullied student had one.

“I made sure there was a shirt for him,” David said.

They also brought a pink basketball to school as well as pink material for headbands and arm bands. David and Travis figure about half the school’s 830 students wore pink.

It was hard to miss the mass of students in pink milling about in the lobby, especially for the group that had harassed the new Grade 9 student.

“The bullies got angry,” said Travis. “One guy was throwing chairs (in the cafeteria). We’re glad we got the response we wanted.”

David said one of the bullies angrily asked him whether he knew pink on a male was a symbol of homosexuality.

He told the bully that didn’t matter to him and shouldn’t to anyone.

“Something like the colour of your shirt or pants, that’s ridiculous,” he said.

“Our intention was to stand up for this kid so he doesn’t get picked on.”

Travis said the bullies “keep giving us dirty looks, but we know we have the support of the whole student body.

“Kids don’t need this in their lives, worrying about what to wear to school. That should be the last thing on their minds.”

When the bullied student put on his pink shirt Friday and saw all the other pink in the lobby, “he was all smiles. It was like a big weight had been lifted off is shoulder,” David said. No one at the school would reveal the student’s name.

Travis said that growing up, he was often picked on for wearing store-brand clothes instead of designer duds.

The two friends said they didn’t take the action looking for publicity, but rather to show leadership in combating what they say is frequent bullying in schools.

( ifairclough@herald.ca)

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