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Hockey students take on bullying

Pitt Meadows secondary Grade 10 student Sam Porta sports an anti-bullying t-shirt on Tuesday. Money raised from the sale of the shirts will be donated to the Amanda Todd Legacy Fund. - Colleen Flanagan/The News
Pitt Meadows secondary Grade 10 student Sam Porta sports an anti-bullying t-shirt on Tuesday. Money raised from the sale of the shirts will be donated to the Amanda Todd Legacy Fund.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan/The News

The kids of RPM's Pacific Rim Hockey Academy at Pitt Meadows secondary are launching an anti-bullying effort that they hope will sweep the province.

Through the hockey academies and schools, RPM will sell pink T-shirts and bracelets. Money raised will be donated to the Amanda Todd Legacy Fund.

Todd was a teen who attended high school in Maple Ridge, then Coquitlam. She posted a Youtube video sharing her story as a victim of bullying and an online predator. Todd then took her own life.

One of the academy students spearheading the Hockey Against Bullying campaign is Sam Porta, a Grade 10 student at Pitt Meadows secondary.

"Amanda Todd really affected everyone, because everyone knew her story," said Porta.

Some of her classmates knew Todd from her days attending school in Maple Ridge.

Porta recalled how hard Todd's death hit many students, and one of her friends saying, "I hope none of you guys ever feel that way, because I love you all."

The hockey academy students wanted to do something, in Todd's memory and take on bullying, said Craig Millin, owner of RPM, which has academies at seven high schools in B.C.

"We certainly can make an impact."

Besides selling t-shirts and bracelets, the local campaign is looking to host professional workshops and guest speakers who will deal with the subject of bullying. The message is for kids to form more relationships.

"It's really hard to bully someone you've gotten to know," said Millin.

Another part is how to stop online harassment.

"The cyber bullying is a real concern," Millin added.

There is now a "piling on" victims in social media.

"Kids gang up on other kids, and it's not two kids, it's two million."

The T-shirts cost $10, bracelets $3. The shirts have the RPM logo and say: "Hockey against bullying. Stop it, right here, right now."

"They're really cool," Porta said.

• To order a T-shirt or bracelet contact holly@rpmhockey.com.

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