Advertisement

Carson Hoyt will appear in Hampton High yearbook, but not in the way parents hoped

Carson Hoyt's parents have fought for months to have a memorial for him included in what would have been his graduation yearbook.  (Submitted by Amy Hoyt - image credit)
Carson Hoyt's parents have fought for months to have a memorial for him included in what would have been his graduation yearbook. (Submitted by Amy Hoyt - image credit)

WARNING: This story contains details about suicide.

Carson Hoyt will be included in what would have been his high school yearbook.

While it's not what his parents initially fought for, his mother says it's an acceptable compromise.

Amy and Greg Hoyt met with officials of Anglophone South School District last Monday to discuss the possibilities and by Friday, the Hoyts said the two sides had come to "a middle ground," Amy said in a statement on Facebook. She declined to be interviewed.

Carson was 15 when he died by suicide at the age of 15 in 2021, after completing Grade 9 at Hampton High School.

This would have been his graduating year.

The Hoyts had always assumed that Carson would be included in this year's yearbook with the rest of his former classmates.

Amy and Greg Hoyt with a school photo of their son, Carson, who died by suicide in June 2021 at the age of 15.
Amy and Greg Hoyt with a school photo of their son, Carson, who died by suicide in June 2021 at the age of 15.

Amy and Greg Hoyt with a school photo of Carson (Roger Cosman/CBC)

Then his mother contacted the school in January to offer to help with graduation activities and to discuss plans for the yearbook. She soon found out the district has a policy against such memorials.

Amy Hoyt declined an interview to discuss the compromise with the district.

When reached last week, Jessica Hanlon, director of communications for Anglophone South, said Carson will appear in the yearbook "in several places, and has since its earliest design drafts."

She said district staff "have worked with the Hoyts to find meaningful ways to honour and remember Carson that align with our policies."

"While Carson appears in the yearbook in several places, there will not be a full-page memorial, for the reasons we have already cited."

Education officials have expressed concern that including a student in a yearbook's memorial page might lead to what has been called suicide contagion, or the risk that other young people might die by suicide as a result.

If you are in crisis or know someone who is, here is where to get help:

CHIMO hotline: 1-800-667-5005  / www.chimohelpline.ca

Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868,  Live Chat counselling at www.kidshelpphone.ca

Canada Suicide Prevention Service: 1-833-456-4566