Students Taking Action for Respect, a program that provides youth with leadership skills and knowledge to positively influence their schools and communities around sexual and dating violence, had its Green Ribbon Week from March 31 – April 4. STAR teams all over Texas promoted the theme “Taking Action for Equality” in their schools and communities.

In Amarillo, eight youth leaders reached over 500 fellow students through
their STAR presentations. In addition, the group borrowed the idea of a “Pink Out” from the TAASA Green Ribbon Week Guidebook.

The “Pink Out” began when two seniors in a high school in Canada organized their classmates to wear pink shirts to school after a freshman male student was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. The teens in Amarillo followed suit by getting fellow students, teachers and school staff to wear pink shirts. Through this campaign, they successfully spread messages that challenged gender stereotypes in their community. They also gained the support of several local sponsors, including Nationwide Insurance, Taylor Petroleum, Hollywood Tans, Banana Bush Salons, and Merle Norman Cosmetics Studios.

One student in the Amarillo program, Christopher Perez, said of Green Ribbon Week’s Pink Out: “Teen dating happens all over the world and teen dating violence happens a lot. It is our job as leaders to teach them that violence is wrong”. Thanks to STAR leaders like Christopher, and everyone who participated in the Pink Out, teen dating violence education and awareness continues to grow throughout the state.