My Kids Will Wear Hockey Jerseys Even Though My School Board Doesn’t Support It

Jersey Day

Today, on Thursday, April 12, school children coast to coast, are invited to wear jerseys to school in honour of the tragic event in Saskatchewan. Fifteen members of the Humboldt Bronco’s family lost their lives when a transport truck collided with the team’s bus, en route to a play off game. Many more were seriously injured; some will never walk again.

The country is in mourning. Flags across everywhere are being flown at half mast. Many of us put our hockey sticks on our front porches in solidarity. We all feel this pain together as a nation. We are a hockey country. So many of us have children whose love for the rink is a central part of their entire family’s life. This loss of these young men and their coaches is profound.

While many school boards across the country are actively participating in Jersey Day on Thursday, inviting all of their students to wear one in solidarity, my school board is not among them. They are actively not participating, because I guess we still live in a world of snowflakes where we’d rather shield our kids from reality than discuss it in an age-appropriate way they can understand.  The reason we were given at my school? “It brings furthur attention to this horrific accident and some parents have already expressed concern about the impact on their own children,” the Vice Principal told me.


They don’t want to bring further attention to a horrific accident? They’d rather we take advantage of our privilege to ignore it? What if it was students at our school? It could have been. We’re lucky it wasn’t.

History is made up of tragedy; wars and death and all-around awful things people had to endure. We expect schools to educate our kids about these events in age-appropriate ways so that they’re not forgotten. “We had our council meeting last night as well, and the way our principal explained it was this….” another mom shared on Facebook. “We are a K to 8 school and while the older students may understand the reason for doing this, the younger students may not. We do not want to confuse them thinking this is some kind of spirit day (which are happy occasions and this clearly is not). This may lead to many questions that we think are best left up to the parents to have and not our teachers. While we cannot stop any student from participating, we will not encourage them nor endorse it, from the school or the board’,” she said.

Ah, I get it; actual Jersey Days should be completely devoid of meaning. Gotcha. Surrounding school boards are encouraging jerseys. Heck, the catholic board in my area is too. My school board, however, would rather we bury our heads in the sand and ignore it. As one woman said in a group on Facebook, it’s a missed opportunity to teach our children about compassion. “Our school initiated it here (with a message about giving support in times of need), flags are half mast at the gov building, and they are switching the lights to green to light up the building. I doubt the teachers would go into graphic detail about what happened, and kids will hear their parents talk about it or see it on the news anyway,” she said.

Why can’t the school explain the reason behind the initiative in an age-appropriate way, much like every. Single. Thing. We do in schools? The amount of money raised on the Go Fund Me page, the number of people who have contributed, and the number of countries from which those contributions have come is proof of the vastness of the hurt and support being felt around the world and the support and solidarity people feel compelled to express.

My kids will wear their jerseys and I’m going to dust off my Brian McCabe Leafs jersey. The whole country is coming together to show support for an entire community that is grieving. We stand with them. Canada stands with them, whether our school board thinks our kids can handle it or not.

As one of my friends so eloquently put, “We’ve all been on that bus, or known people who were. My kids both play hockey and lacrosse and could one day be on that bus. I used to spend a lot of time riding that bus when I was younger. Hours spent hanging out with team mates, innocently talking about everything under the sun, without a clue that in the blink of an eye it all could have changed.”

That’s why we should all come together. That’s why we should all care. That’s why we should all wear jerseys.



Photo credit: Huffington Post



  1. Lisa on April 12, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    WOW! How absolutely disgusting and VERY UNCANADIAN of this school board. I’m in Niagara and my kids go to a Catholic school. On twitter the Niagara Catholic District School Board (NCDSB) encouraged EVERY student of every school, elementary and high school, to wear a jersey today. They also said a special prayer. The Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL) have also made a huge tribute:

    I’m a hockey mom. My 3 oldest kids play(ed) (my oldest will be 20 this yr and has a 1yo son with her fiancé and quit). My youngest son is 6 and has issues, so he doesn’t play. My oldest son played rep for many yrs, and my yngst daughter plays rep now. I can’t and don’t want to ever imagine the horrific pain those families feel.

    We have a fed gov that loves to tk selfies with victims of every tragedy and made such a huge deal out of bringing ppl here from a war zone. I’ll bet ur school board has no prob talking about those issues, but a bus of Canadian hockey players gets tragically killed and all of a sudden it may be too graphic? Their hypocrisy is sickening! Almost as sick as the ppl saying the ONLY reason Canada is mourning as a country and this has received the attention it has, is b/c these were white males and this is all about white privilege. I’m about to snap on the next ignoramus that mks 1 of these stupid ignorant stmts. If ur interested u can see/listen to what 2 ignorant sick women had to say here:

    May God Bless these families in their time of unimaginable pain and may the ignoramous’ experience the same pain some day and have everyone ignore them based on skin colour, ya know, racism, so they may know how it feels.

    #HumboldtStrong #HumboldtBroncos #Humboldt #Sask #hockey #HockeyIsForEveryone

  2. Jodie on April 12, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    Our school in peel didn’t endorse it as well … sent a letter to the principle…. still haven’t heard back. The other reason I have heard is about inclusiveness with those who don’t have a jersey… I call bullshit. My school doesn’t have very many kids who play hockey so the principle playcates to the “community”.. truly disgusting I think. We certainly discussed the attack on the mosque to our snowflakes at our school on the announcements but let’s not talk about this horrible tradegdy. I sent my kids in their jerseys. Political correctness and protecting our snowflakes has gone too far. Hockey is part of our Canada’s culture… time to embrace our heritage and not only what is a hot topic in the political eye.

  3. Michelle on April 13, 2018 at 12:44 am

    My son is 4 and they encouraged jersey day at his daycare. We don’t own a jersey so he wore green (which was an option) and I made a green/yellow commemorative ribbon for him to wear. We’ve talked about the tragedy since it happened and he saw images of the crash scene. He’s 4 so his attention span lasted all of 2 minutes when I was explaining to him why he was wearing the ribbon today…then he was off to play with his toys. We don’t need to coddle these kids and raise them in a bubble. To learn compassion, they first have to see you be compassionate. And kids need to learn to cope with reality — how else do you build resilience in them (which is noticeably lacking in the generation that is entering the workforce)?

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