"Ottawa Teenagers Takes His Own Life Because of Severe Bullying"
This would be the first time that I had ever heard the name Jamie Hubley.
It was late October 2011 and I had just finished my shift with the RCMP in Surrey BC. I was laying in bed, scrolling through the news as I always do, and this headline caught my attention. Now what you have to understand about being a Police Officer is that we often see tragedy while on the job and then we come home and read about it or see it on the news. It's a part of our job unfortunately. I can honestly say that nothing had ever hit me the way that this article would.
I lay in bed reading line by line about how Jamie had been a figure skater since the age of five with the full support of his parents Wendy and Allan. He was doing really well for his age and thoroughly enjoying it. His proud parents cheering him along the way. I recall wanting to smile as I was reading this but held back as I already knew where the story was going from the headline and plus the media rarely reports on feel-good stories.
At an early age in school, some of Jamie's peers would learn that Jamie was a figure skater and not a hockey player. For years, he would be relentlessly bullied (physically, verbally and through cyber-bullying) which in turn led to serious struggles with mental illness.
The bullying itself would become so severe that Jamie even changed schools hoping for things to improve during this grade 7 year but sadly, it was much the same.
Jamie was also struggling with his sexuality which he came to terms with around the age of 15. Jamie shared the fact that he was gay with his family and again received support and love.
Working hard to find acceptance amongst his peers, Jamie asked his principal at the start of his grade 10 year if he could have school support to attempt to start up a club which he wanted to call 'The Rainbow Club'. Jamie had hoped to make additional friends to help him through the last couple of years of high school while also helping to make the world a better, more accepting, place. Jamie received the permission from the school and made several posters speaking of this plans and the date.
As the week went on, the posters began to disappear. By the Friday evening of that week, Jamie had had enough.
On October 15, 2011, Jamie would take his own life by way of suicide.
I was frozen in my bed by the time I was done reading this article. I had never been moved so much or experienced the feeling of being paralyzed as I was. In my mind, I could only reflect on one moment in my life over and over......being a five year old little boy wanting to become a police officer to help others. That night, a fire would rage inside of me that would never go out.
I knew that I was going to do something about this epidemic but I had no idea what it would be. The only thing I knew for sure was that it was all going to be for the youth and I was going to tell anyone that would listen about an incredible young man named Jamie Hubley. Although I have never met this young man, I would have been so honoured and proud to have called him my friend.
It took months for me to start to piece together what I could do and what would be reasonable. I also knew that I would have to ask Jamie's family for permission to speak of their son. I found an email address and wrote a long email to them explaining who I am and what I wanted to do. They approved.
Bullying Ends Here is what I would call the program and I had a lot of work to do....