Remember that one time when we all had this big problem and then we bought a bunch of wristbands and it went away? England's Beat Bullying campaign hoped to replicate that success in their fight against the generations-old problem of surly douchebags at school.
The idea behind the program was to sell blue wristbands that kids would wear to school to signify that they thoroughly reject bullying in all its forms, be it a physical attack, like the dreaded swirlie for example, or a more subtle form, like a YouTube video of your mom earning her "coolest" title the hard way with a group of your classmates. Kids weren't going to take it anymore. Unlike that mom of yours, who takes it all the time (if you know what we mean).
Even celebrities got in on the act, buying up wristbands by the boatload and wearing them to prominent events. We know what you're going to ask. The answer is yes, there is a picture of Bono coming up. Right now, in fact.
"Yeah, one punch and the little nerd went down. Then I took this bracelet from him."
In February of 2005, David Beckham handed out the millionth wristband to 13-year-old Jess Sparrow, who happily proclaimed "I'm here with David Beckham. It's fantastic. I hope no one has to suffer bullying ever again." Nope, that should about take care of it. Thanks, Beckham!
When trying to avoid the wrath of the school bully, it's best to not do anything that may attract their attention, like buying royal blue wristbands for yourself and everyone else in your World of Warcraft guild to wear to school. Almost immediately after the program was implemented in the nation's schools, kids wearing the blue wristband were, naturally, targeted by bullies.
One reason kids were targeted was because of the scarcity of the bracelets. The campaign was so popular at its launch that supplies of the "Beat Bullying" wristbands quickly sold out. Prices on eBay skyrocketed, reaching $32 each. Not a bad day's haul for an enterprising young bully.
Even when strong armed robbery wasn't involved, kids were just targeted because they were wearing the wristband. According to one student, "They basically thought 'Hey! Everyone who's wearing a wristband must be scared of bullying!' So they decided to bully the people wearing wristbands. So, it's made a difference, but not a good one." A ringing endorsement for a campaign that continues to this day.