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School mobilizes in response to Jamie Hubley’s suicide

by Shari Graydon

Amy Johnson jokes that she has 5 kids at home, and 500 at work.

High school principal Amy Johnson and a few of her kids demonstrating their Day of Pink solidarity.

An energetic mother and deeply committed high school principal in rural Ontario, she has also been a longtime advocate for gay youth. So when she read of Jamie Hubley’s suicide earlier this week — a desperate act motivated by the cruel bullying the 15-year-old experienced because of his sexuality — she was deeply angered.

Channeling the anger into a public announcement delivered over the PA system to her entire school, she was overwhelmed by the response, which she subsequently wrote about for the Ottawa Citizen. She began her commentary by asking:

 How is AY Jackson, the school community currently grieving the tragic death of Jamie Hubley, different from Opeongo High, in the heart of rural Ottawa Valley, where I work as principal?

The short answer is, it’s not.

You can read the full text of her piece — including the message she relayed to her school community, and the inspirational response it elicited — here.

After it was published in the Citizen, recognizing the power and resonance of its message, the Calgary Herald picked it up the following day. No doubt it’s now inspiring conversations at breakfast tables, in classrooms and around water coolers in Alberta as well as Ontario…