her own daughter’s struggles with bullying

Ottawa Citizen: “…You are angels,” she said, “but it’s possible for you, in turn, to become very mean.” The consequences of that meanness were tragically visible on Thursday in Ottawa, with Jamie Hubley’s funeral held just a few hours later. Hubley, 15, committed suicide Saturday after blogging about his struggles with the bullying and name-calling that came with being an openly gay teenager at A.Y. Jackson Secondary School. People around the world were also wearing purple for Spirit Day, an international day in support of young victims of homophobic bullying declared after a widely-publicized slew of suicides in 2010…Jean shared the story of her own daughter’s struggles with bullying. When Marie-Éden Lafond was six, Jean said, she would come home from school every day and tell her about the other students who would surround her and taunt her, yelling “You’re the governor general’s daughter!” in a singsong voice. Jean said the problem was solved when her daughter stood up to them and said yes, she was, and everyone knows it. “Me, I’m me. The problem is you, forming a circle and making fun of me,'” Jean recalled her daughter saying. On Thursday, the students unveiled a new addition to an aquarium mural on the wall: a pink fish with an elephant’s head holding a stop sign in its trunk. Jean said elementary school was the right time and place to teach children about diversity, acceptance and bullying. “Difference is beauty, isn’t it?” she asked the students. “Oui!” they responded…” (Be vigilant about bullying, Jean says Students asked to be kind, accept each other).

Michaëlle Jean CC CMM COM CD FRCPSC(hon) (born September 6, 1957) is a Canadian journalist and stateswoman who served as Governor General of Canada, the 27th since Canadian Confederation, from 2005 to 2010. Jean was a refugee from Haiti — coming to Canada in 1968 — and was raised in the town of Thetford Mines, Quebec. After receiving a number of university degrees, Jean worked as a journalist and broadcaster for Radio-Canada and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), as well as undertaking charity work, mostly in the field of assisting victims of domestic violence. In 2005, she was appointed governor general by Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, on the recommendation of Prime Minister Paul Martin, to replace Adrienne Clarkson as vicereine, and she occupied the post until succeeded by David Johnston in 2010. Early in her tenure, comments of hers recorded in some of the film works by her husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond, were construed as supporting Quebec sovereignty and her holding of dual citizenship caused doubt about her loyalties. But Jean denied separatist leanings, renounced her citizenship of France, and eventually became a respected vicereine. Jean was formally appointed and installed as Special Envoy for Haiti for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on November 8, 2010, for a four-year term. As of February 1, 2012, Jean will become the 13th chancellor of the University of Ottawa. Unlike all other former governors general who had not already been made privy councillors, Jean was not sworn into the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada following the end of her viceregal service. As a former Governor General of Canada, Jean is entitled to be styled for life as The Right Honourable (Wikipedia).

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