A candlelight vigil and walk to honour Lucas Gaudet will be held Thursday night in Pointe-Claire.
The March 10 vigil marks one month since Gaudet, a 16-year-old student at John Rennie High School, was murdered during a violent altercation near St. Thomas High School.
Gaudet was stabbed during the Feb. 8 melee and died two days later in hospital.
The candlelight vigil for Gaudet will begin at 7 p.m. outside John Rennie High School. From there, the vigil group will walk to St. Thomas High School, located just over two kilometres away on Broadview Ave.
Participants are asked to bring a (battery-operated) candle if they wish. Anyone who wishes may also wear a hockey jersey, or something light blue, to the vigil.
Gaudet’s mother Lynne Baudouy said the vigil is an opportunity to bring the community together and honour the life of Lucas, a Grade 10 student who loved hockey.
Baudouy said students and teachers from both schools, as well as friends and members of the general public, are invited to attend the vigil.
“Hopefully it will bring the two schools together,” she said. “It’s going to be a healing point for the kids, as well, because the school is not letting them talk about it … change has to start somewhere.”
She said her son also had friends at St. Thomas, some of whom he met while playing hockey in the West Island. “Lucas knew kids all over the West Island from hockey.”
On Saturday, Baudouy organized a march downtown Montreal to call for an end to youth violence. A group of about 50 people walked from Sir George-Étienne Cartier Monument near Mount Royal to city hall in Old Montreal.
Baudouy said she and her family have been devastated by Lucas’s death. She is trying to be strong for her son, but finds it hard to sleep at night.
“I don’t know how I’m coping. It seems one days flows into the next. Sometimes I wake up and the day goes alright. Sometimes I wake up and just start crying. I miss him … it’s so unfair.”
A 16-year-old youth has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with Gaudet’s murder, and the attempted murder of a second youth who was also stabbed during the altercation.
Baudouy said she has forgiven the teen who allegedly killed her son, but she also believes her son’s death was preventable.
“The school could have prevented all of this. They knew that these kids were terrorizing the school for years yet did nothing. Now they’re sweeping it under the rug.”
A Lester B. Pearson School Board director recently told the Montreal Gazette that school officials were not aware of a looming conflict between students or they would have intervened beforehand.
The deadly Feb. 8 melee involved students from three Pointe-Claire high schools: St. Thomas, John Rennie and Horizon.
The school board said it cannot discuss the students involved due to an ongoing police investigation.
At last month’s school board meeting, one parent said her two daughters have been afraid to attend St. Thomas High School since Gaudet’s murder. She pleaded with school board officials to make the school more secure.
Baudouy said more needs to be done to make schools safer. “There has to be a zero tolerance on violence,” she said.
School board dealing with pain and fear following Gaudet murder
Rally for slain Pointe-Claire teen Lucas Gaudet decries youth violence