After a classmate called him the N-word, 12-year-old Tarrick Walker spearheaded an anti-bullying campaign against racism that’s getting a lot of praise.
Tarrick and his parents started to distribute free “stop bullying” T-shirts at his school in Hanford, California two days after the September incident, the Freno Bee reported on Thursday.
They gave away 100 T-shirts on the first day, and orders were placed for 200 more. There’s now a growing demand for the T-shirts outside their community after Tarrick’s father, Marcel Walker, posted a video to Facebook on Sept. 24, which received more than 3,400 views by Sunday.
Being on the receiving end of a racial slur was painful, but Tarrick felt encouraged that his friends stood up for him against the bully, he says in the video.
“And, that made me think about how lucky I was, to have such great friends and classmates,” Tarrick adds. “But not everyone has the same support I do, and that encouraged me to take a stand, to stand up for kids that are being bullied and to let parents know to tell your kids about what bullying and racism is, and how it’s not cool.”
The incident happened on a basketball court at Kings River-Hardwick School. When Tarrick asked to join the game, a kid told him to “Get out you dumb N-word,” the 12-year-old recalled. Tarrick immediately reported the racial slur to school staff and later to his parents.
Tarrick’s father, who recalled people calling him the N-word many times growing up in Texas, prepared his kids for the possibility of being called a racial slur. “And my kids, and Tarrick in this incident, handled it exceptionally well,” Marcel Walker said. He had the T-shirts and wristbands, with the hashtag #IStandWithTarrick, made.
Meanwhile, Tarrick’s mother, Darlene Walker, who is white, has also helped to spread the message. Darlene Walker said many of the white parents she’s spoken to were unaware that racial bullying still exists.
“Tarrick’s current anti-bullying awareness efforts are proof that KRH children are stepping up as leaders to put positive ideas into action and spread love, acceptance, and compassion to others,” said Cathlene Anderson, superintendent of Kings River-Hardwick Elementary School District.