Hundreds attend funeral for Hamilton teen stabbed outside school – CBC.ca

Hundreds attend funeral for Hamilton teen stabbed outside school - CBC.ca
I just wish I got to spend more time with him: Family and friends remember teen stabbed to death in front of his mother in Hamilton
More than 300 people attended a funeral in Hamilton on Saturday for a 14-year-old boy stabbed to death outside of his school.

Devan Bracci-Selvey, 14, was described as a goofy kid with a big heart who would rather sing Life is a Highway than his ABCs, who let his sisters paint his face in makeup, who enjoyed running through the mall playing tag with his best friend, rescuing animals with his mom and hanging out with his grandma.

Devan was an avid mechanic apparently and he liked older cars. If you look up this street here you will see there are no less than four, five dozen older cars and there are a bunch of folks from different motorcycle clubs who also attended and its a big show of support by the community, area resident Andrew Hines said. We need to end bullying, as soon as possible, yesterday.

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"This may sound a little odd, but I want to give you permission today to laugh, because that's what Devan did," said Rev. Cal Stafford in his opening remarks.  "You are not defined by what happened on Monday," he continued later in the service. "You are defined by your response to what happened on Monday." 

Shari-Ann Bracci-Selvey, the mother of Devan Bracci-Selvey, centre, during a procession following her sons funeral service at Stoney Creek United Church in Hamilton, Ont., Saturday, October 12, 2019. Bracci-Selvey died in hospital on October 7 after he was fatally stabbed behind Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tara Walton

Stafford listed three things he asked mourners to take away from how Devan lived his life: his love for his family, friends and animals.

Shari-Ann Bracci-Selvey, the mother of Devan Selvey is consoled at her sons visitation service at Donald V. Brown Funeral Home in Stoney Creek, Ont., Friday, October 11, 2019. Devan Selvey died in hospital on October 7, after he was fatally stabbed behind Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tara Walton

Mourners wear pink to remember 14-year-old boy stabbed outside school

Some mourners were dressed in pink as a statement against bullying — a sentiment heard throughout Hamilton's community all week. 

A procession of motorcycles and antique cars following the funeral service of Devan Bracci-Selvey at Stoney Creek United Church in Hamilton, Ont., Saturday, October 12, 2019. Bracci-Selvey died in hospital on October 7 after he was fatally stabbed behind Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tara Walton

Two Hamilton teens facing weapons charges after high school incident

A pink ribbon was also tied to the back of a hearse parked in front of the Stoney Creek United Church, where the funeral took place.

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His wooden casket stood was partly covered by a white T-shirt with purple writing that read "Stop Bullying."

She urged parents going through the same thing not to give up hope. In her sons case, the bullying stopped when a police officer stood up at an assembly at the Brantford school, asking children to come forward if they see bullying. One student bystander spoke up about her sons case. The child who tormented him was eventually expelled.

Both of Devan's parents were too emotional to speak at the service, but his sisters read what they had written. His mother said she will miss his random hugs and "I love yous," and still remembers holding Devan for the first time in the hospital after he was born. His dad said his son was a dreamer who lived life on his own terms and could walk into any room and brighten it. 

"He was a great kid, gone too soon," said his brother TJ Bracci, while fighting tears outside the church. "Today we remember Devan for who he was, a great soul."

Around 600 mourners, many wearing T-shirts that read \”Stop Bullying\” on the front and \”R.I.P. Devan\” on the back, attended the Stoney Creek United Church funeral service Saturday. Dozens more stood outside to pay their respects.

Devan was stabbed to death outside Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School in the city's east end Monday afternoon.    He was attacked in front of his mother, Shari-Ann Bracci-Selvey, who had gone to the school to pick him up after he called her to say some children were bothering him.

Shari-Ann Selvey weeps on the shoulder of Mikey McEntee as she watches a procession of vintage cars and motorcycles follow the hearse carrying the body of her 14-year-old son Devan. | Cathie Coward, The Hamilton Spectator

"He only had a small circle of trust, and if you were in that circle, he would defend you like a family member. He would be like a lioness protecting her cub," said his best friend, Michael Mcemtee, known to Devan's family as Mikey. 

Devan Bracci-Selvey was killed on Monday in an attack that unfolded in front of his mother after what his family described as weeks of bullying. An obituary for the boy described him as a loyal friend with a passion for old cars, video games and animals.

Outside the church Saturday, about 60 vintage cars lined the street with pink ribbons. After the funeral, they drove in procession through the city in tribute the teen, who was an aspiring mechanic with a passion for classic cars.  The funeral was open to the public, but television cameras were not allowed inside. A visitation was held on Friday.

Shari-Ann Bracci-Selvey told reporters Wednesday that her sons death came after a month of relentless bullying from fellow students at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, alleging Devan was failed by the systems meant to protect him.

Bracci-Selvey said her son had been bullied since the second day of school this year. Tormentors allegedly stole his bike.

"For a month, we've been trying to get this dealt with," she said, adding one student had been suspended, but still showed up at school on Monday.

HAMILTON — Many mourners grew teary-eyed and wore pink in support of anti-bullying campaigns as they gathered Saturday for the funeral of a 14-year-old boy who was stabbed to death outside his school in Hamilton.

"All schools have the same policies, zero tolerance and zero bullying, and everyone belongs. And it's not true, and no one is held accountable for it, and then stuff like this happens." In a statement to CBC News, Manny Figueiredo, education director of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, confirmed Devan's mom reported several bullying incidents to school administrators and that the board would be handing that information over to police.

The younger suspect was charged with threatening, possession of a weapon and carrying a concealed weapon, while the other faces charges of possession of a weapon, carrying a concealed weapon and breach of release conditions.

Family and friends remember teen stabbed to death in front of his mother in Hamilton

He would not provide any details about the school's response, but said school board officials are co-operating with the police investigation.

Police say that on Friday afternoon an on-line feud between two youths resulted in one of them going to Glendale Secondary School with an adult friend armed with a small hatchet and pocket knife.

Figueiredo said the board is focusing on supporting students and staff by bringing in social workers, a crisis response team and police liaison officers to walk the school halls. 

Investigators say the two didnt find the person they were looking for and fled after school officials told them that the police had been called.

Mourners gather for slain Hamilton teens funeral

Police said they're aware of the incident involving the bike, but there's currently no information linking the accused in the stabbing to the bike theft.

Hamilton police say two teenagers are facing charges after they allegedly brought weapons to a high school in the city.

Investigators were initially hesitant to confirm whether the bullying and the attack were directly connected. On Wednesday,  Det.-Sgt. Steve Bereziuk said the bullying aspect of the investigation is "growing."

Two teens — a 14-year-old boy and an 18-year-old man — have been charged with first-degree murder.

During the investigation homicide detectives have had help from various other police units including east end patrol and detectives officers, victims services, the school and youth officers, ACTION (who found the knife alleged to be the murder weapon near the scene), forensic unit and the tech crime unit.

Neither can be named due to a publication ban shielding the man's identity and provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act that protect the boys.

He got a call the day of the stabbing to come to the school. He tried to act as an intermediary, but things were out of control and he was pepper sprayed, he said. He went into the school to clean his eyes. Soon after Bracci-Selvey was stabbed.

Hamilton police have been relatively quiet on the circumstances surrounding the teens death, but Bereziuk has said investigators believe the 14-year-old accused was the one wielding the knife.

Trudie Nicholls-Drakerm, who lives in the same areas as Devan's family, attended the funeral to show her support. 

Hamilton police have been relatively quiet on the circumstances surrounding Devans death, but Det.-Sgt. Steve Bereziuk has said investigators believe the 14-year-old accused was the one wielding the knife.

She said her daughter, now 25, also went to Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School and experienced bullying for four years. 

Many wore pink to tribute Devan Bracci-Selvey, who was killed outside of his high school — and his front of his mother — on Monday, after what his family described as weeks of bullying.

Sea of purple honours Devan Selvey, Hamilton teen stabbed to death

"She was bullied by gangs of girls, rumours, ostracised," said Nicholls-Decker. "One time she and a teacher were in the school gym, a girl ran into the gym and cold-clocked my daughter right in the face, gave her a black eye and ran out again."

She said the police were called, but her daughter felt pressured not to press charges. "It was boiled down to two girls in a fight, but it was assault. She was punched right in the face in front of a teacher."

Neither can be named due to a publication ban shielding the mans identity and provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act that protect the boys.

Nicholls-Draker said the other girl involved was suspended for a couple of days, but there should be other ways the school board could handle incidents such as these. 

Devan Bracci-Selvey was killed on Monday in an attack that unfolded in front of his mother after what his family described as weeks of bullying. An obituary for the boy described him as a loyal friend with a passion for old cars, video games and animals.

"There have to be stricter regulations and rules. Maybe the kids that would have just gotten a suspension, maybe they need to go through some kind of therapeutic training for three days instead of three days at home."

Mourner Sarah Castelleni said she has made some 5,000 T-shirts with the slogan, "Love is louder, stand up to bullying," and all proceeds will go to the family. 

Many mourners grew teary-eyed and wore pink in support of anti-bullying campaigns as they gathered for the funeral of a 14-year-old boy who was stabbed to death outside his school in Hamilton.

"I have kids who are in school that will eventually be going to high school," said Castelleni. "It scares me that this has happened. It's pretty sad that it's taken a boy dying to make it come to light." 

"I'm actually scared to send her to school," said Sherry Albanise, whose 16-year-old daughter went to elementary school with Devan but attended a different high school.

She said her 11-year-old son, who's in Grade 6 at R L Hyslop Elementary School in Stoney Creek, has been bullied. 

"He has ADHD and people would pick on him because he's louder than most…people were calling him a loser because of that," she said. "It hurts him."

The scope of the review has yet to be determined, but it will likely be similar to that of a May 2015 inquiry conducted by the Toronto Catholic District School Board following the deaths of Michael Menjivar and Zaid Youssef. The high school students were shot to death on their lunch break following days of conflict that played out on social media.

William Williamson, 20, who now lives in Hamilton, said he was bullied so badly that he dropped out of high school. 

\”Our safe schools investigation involves … us trying to piece together what happened not only that day, but what may have led up to what happened that day,\” Stephanian said. \”As part of our investigation, we are reviewing any concerns that Devan or his family have previously shared with the school.\”

"It's upset me very much," he said. "I know what the family is going through." 

Speaking generally, she said school administrators are required to investigate all reports of bullying. Administrators speak with victims and alleged perpetrators and determine a course of action. There is no time frame within which investigations must be completed, she said, unless expulsion is likely.

"I've been through the exact same thing [as Devan]," he said. "The kids bullied me, calling me names and pushing me around. I told the principal, the teachers, and they didn't do anything."

Football game for Hamilton high school student stabbed to death draws hundreds

Williamson said he's now being home-schooled so he can finish his Grade 10, 11 and 12 classes, and graduate. 

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