Minor hockey team raises awareness against bullying
The Innisfil Winterhawks minor hockey team took to the ice on Sunday; they did so wearing purple stickers on their helmets and a purple band on their arms, hoping to raise awareness against bullying.
The support comes a day after 14-year-old Devan Selvey's funeral in Hamilton, who was fatally stabbed outside his high school last week after being a victim of bullying.
Coaches and players on the team say they hope the armbands they wore will send a clear message.
"Bullying is bad because it can lead to bad stuff," said Winterhawks player Braydon Russell. "I wanted to wear it because I really wanted to support him and know that other people are getting bullied."
"I want my kids to know that that bullying is not okay," says coach Brad Marles,
"If they see its happening, be a leader, stand up. Being a hockey player is being a leader. Stand up for it and say, hey, that's not okay."
Dr. Ken Marek is a psychologist in Barrie. He says, in most cases, the act of bullying is taught.
"They observe aggression, violence, the feel, the bullier sometimes has their own psychological issues," said Marek.
He says it's an issue all parents should talk to their kids about, but parents need to keep the conversation age-appropriate.
"The younger children don't need graphic descriptions," says Marek, "as the child gets older into the teens, it needs to be a very frank discussion."
Dr. Marek adds if a parent feels their child may be a victim of bullying to look for signs, including sadness, irritability, and the act of picking on other siblings. His best advice is not to brush it off and deal with it right away.