Hundreds gathered outside of Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil in honour of 14-year-old slain Hamilton teen, Devan Selvey, and to speak out against bullying.
Past and present students, parents, Hamilton community members, and family members of Devan Selvey stood together at Wednesday night’s vigil to mourn the loss if the teen, who was fatally stabbed outside of his high school in front of his mother on Monday.
At 6:30 p.m. the front lawn was flooded with people and police had to block off a main street to make more room for vigil attendees.
On the Facebook event page for the “Candlelight Vigil Against Bullying, Jealously, Hatefulness and for Love & Peace,” organizers said all members of the public were invited to attend the memorial.
Many members of the community who attended the event on Wednesday night said they could relate to comments Selvey's mother made earlier the day regarding bullying at the school.
The teen's mother said her son had faced persistent bullying since the beginning of the school year, incidents she reported to the school.
Trudy Nicholls-Draker, who attended Wednesday night's vigil, said this isn’t the first time she has heard of bullying happening at this school.
“My daughter attended this school, and was bullied terribly her entire four years here. A friend subsequently took his own life as a result of being bullied here. It was important to represent her, him, Devan, and all kids who have been bullied,” said Nicholls-Draker.
Nicholls-Draker said she believes bullying is not dealt with effectively, and school boards need to have a tougher approach.
“They are children. They might look and feel like adults, and they might do adult things, but they’re children and they need adult guidance,” she said.
Devan will be laid to rest Saturday afternoon in Stoney Creek.
The school football team said that they are honouring Devan at their game on Thursday.
A student at the school, who identified himself only as Zeke, said that the team will be collecting donations for Devan’s funeral.
“We want to give him a good send off,” the student said.
Two suspects, a 14-year-old boy and 18-year-old male, have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the fatal stabbing.
A publication ban prevents media from identifying the adult suspect and the 14-year-old cannot be identified under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Three other teens were taken into custody following the stabbing but they have been released without charge.