Bullying partly to blame in Ottawa teen's suicide, father says

Ottawa — The Globe and Mail

Ottawa city councillor Allan Hubley poses with his son Jamie in this family photo released on Monday Oct. 17, 2011. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Handout/THE CANADIAN PRESS/Handout)

An Ottawa city councillor says bullying was part of the reason his 15-year-old son took his own life last Friday.

Councillor Allan Hubley says in a statement that his son Jamie had been suffering with depression and was receiving care from doctors and counsellors.

Mr. Hubley says these professionals, along with family and friends, were trying to help him cope with his depression and his sexuality.

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Mr. Hubley says his son was a championship figure skater for years and was just beginning to excel as a singer and enjoyed acting.

Mr. Hubley also says James was bullied.

He says the family was aware of several occasions where he was treated cruelly simply because he liked figure skating over hockey.

James recently tried to start a Rainbow Club at his high school to promote acceptance of others, Mr. Hubley said.

“The posters were torn down and he was called vicious names in the hallways and online,” he said.

“We will not say that the bullying was the only reason for James's decision to take his own life but it was definitely a factor,” Mr. Hubley said.

Mr. Hubley said the school has promised to ensure the posters are protected.

“We hope from our tragedy others will become more active in stopping this cruelty towards children,” he said.

Mr. Hubley and his wife Wendy are asking people wishing to make a donation in James's memory to direct them to Youth Services Bureau's Mental Health Walk in Clinic.