Heidi Zemach for Seward City News –
Seward Sophomore Kimberly “Kimmy” Hubbard, and her grandmother Jody Tuck, are going to be able to travel to Ohio to march in the River Days Parade in Portsmouth on August 25th after all. They’ll be joining a large anti-bullying contingent, made up of many of the area district’s schools, who learned recently of the suicide of a 13-year old boy named Jonathon Schaff, who the Hubbards used to know. He took his own life the day after an incident of bullying occurred at a football game in which one of his fellow students heartlessly suggested that he go kill himself.
Kimmy’s heartfelt poem against bullying, which she posted to an Ohio website discussing his death, touched people in the area where she grew up before moving to Alaska eight years ago, and an anti-bullying/suicide awareness teacher invited Hubbard to attend the march she was organizing. The teacher also asked for permission to use her poem in her future anti-bullying workshops in their local schools.
Kimmy’s mother, who lives back in Ohio, placed donation jars in local establishments in the area, and one local bar donated a percentage of the earnings of a busy Friday night to help purchase the Hubbard’s’plane tickets.
Kimmy says she is very thankful and appreciative of the help purchasing their tickets, and is hoping to put the experience to good use. She is applying to attend a statewide workshop in Anchorage this fall on teen mentoring and suicide prevention, which she hopes to take part in if such a program is established at Seward High School. She also is considering inviting the anti-bullying educator to Seward, to present one of her workshops here. A television station and newspaper reporter from her old hometown in Ohio also have plans to interview her, when she gets there. But mostly, she and her “Mamaw,” Tuck are looking forward to seeing the Schaff family again, after eight years, and to lending their support to the parade, and to the idea that bullying should not be tolerated at schools anywhere, and that those who don’t fit in need other’s love and support.