Kelsey students take a stand against bullying

Kelsey Hockey Academy students against bullying, from left, include: Nolan Egeland, Liam Clifford, Amy Osmond and Tyler Carlson. - Don Bodger
Kelsey Hockey Academy students against bullying, from left, include: Nolan Egeland, Liam Clifford, Amy Osmond and Tyler Carlson.
— image credit: Don Bodger

Amanda Todd was a hockey academy player in Maple Ridge.

That's good enough for Frances Kelsey Hockey Academy players at Frances Kelsey Secondary to consider her a teammate and they're sticking up for her cause as part of the Hockey Against Bullying campaign organized by RPM Hockey Company.

A great job has been done by hockey academies and school populations throughout the province — including Kelsey's well-orchestrated efforts — to bring attention to the seriousness of bullying after Todd, who attended school in Maple Ridge and Coquitlam, took her own life in October 2012 at the age of 15 because she couldn't stand it anymore,

Kelsey is clearly on board with the campaign and doing whatever it can to advance the cause.

Pink shirts are going to be selling like hotcakes at Kelsey. There's an original Hockey Against Bullying T-shirt with AMT Stay Strong on the sleeve for $12, a Pink in the Rink Anti-Bullying hockey jersey for $20 and hot pink silicon bracelets in youth or adult sizes, with Hockey Against Bullying written in white, going for $3.

"Whatever money we get from that goes to her foundation,'' said Frances Kelsey Hockey Academy player Tyler Carlson.

The Amanda Todd Legacy Fund creates opportunities to educate young people on mental health, anti-bullying, suicide prevention and programs for people with learning disabilities.

"Every hockey academy is doing this in partnership with Anti-Bullying Day,''' said Kelsey vice-prinicipal Lori Hryniuk.

"It's student-driven. Several of the kids volunteered to take it on.''

The Kelsey Academy is one of several affiliated programs that fall under the Pacific Rim Hockey Academy banner.

It's a big part, but by no means the only one, of a week-long Kelsey campaign Feb. 24 to 27 referred to as Compassion Week, according to counsellor Mary Kirchner.

"There's a whole bunch of activities these kids are organizing,'' she said.

The week will start in fine decorative style at the school in keeping with recent tradition.

"On the Monday to kick it off, there'll be a splash of decorated pink all over the place,'' said Kirchner. "The kids will walk into this totally decorated pink school.''

The students know it's coming, but it's no less spectacular when they see it. The look almost makes it appear as if pranksters hit the school, but it's all part of setting the stage for the theme of the week.

An emphasis on positive tweets, a workshop, photo booth, bake sale and more are all being planned, with proceeds to anti-bullying programs.

Todd's death simply fueled the desire among students to do more.

"We were doing stuff before and we're continuing to do things,'' said Kirchner.



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