Memorial in Hampton yearbook

Anglophone South School District pushes back on including Carson Hoyt in yearbook

Content warning: This story contains mention of suicide. 

“To hear somebody say that your child can not be included when they are already not here, it’s really damaging,” said Amy Hoyt, mother of Carson Hoyt, in an interview with CBC News. Carson Hoyt was a 15-year-old boy from Hampton, New Brunswick with his entire life ahead of him. According to family and friends, he was funny, diligent and cared deeply for those around him. Tragically, Hoyt took his life in 2021 leaving his loved ones ‘blindsided’. 

Hoyt would have graduated this upcoming June 2024. When Hoyt’s parents offered to help out with graduation activities like Safe Grad, they felt that being a part of what would have been their son’s graduation might make the week easier. Hoyt’s mother Amy also asked the school about how they would include Hoyt in the yearbook. For Hoyt’s friends and family, including Hoyt in the yearbook seemed like a given. They want their son to be remembered for the kind and funny kid he was. Therefore, his parents were staggered when they were met with resistance from the school. 

Upon the request from the Hoyts to include their son in the yearbook, the school asked the district. Allan Davis, director of schools in the Anglophone South district responded to the Hoyts in an email stating, “while I am sure this is a difficult time for you and your family knowing that this is Carson’s graduating class, please understand that the focus of graduation activities is to celebrate the achievements of the graduates.” The school cited that their reason for not including Hoyt in the yearbook was that they need to be more sensitive to students who are at risk of suicide. 

Education Minister of New Brunswick Bill Hogan, advocated to include Hoyt in the yearbook. He urged the Hoyts to continue working with the Anglophone South School District and officials at the Hampton High School to add Hoyt to the yearbook. Further, Hogan hopes that Hoyt will be acknowledged at his graduation. Being a retired high school principal, Hogan has experience working with students. While he recognizes that there has been significant progress surrounding people’s attitudes towards mental health, work still has to be done. Pushing stories like Hoyt’s under the rug is further stigmatizing mental health. 

Upendra Adhikari – Argosy Photographer


Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for yearbooks to include memorial pages for students who passed away. Leo Hayes High School in Fredericton included a memorial page for Lexi Daken, a teenager who took her life in 2021. It was a simple, but impactful page featuring two pictures of Lexi, and a quote reading, “let’s go to McDonald’s.” 


If readers of The Argosy are moved by this story and would like to help Carson Hoyt’s friends and family, there is a petition circulating that can be signed to demonstrate support. The petition is calling upon Hampton High School and the Anglophone West School to reverse their decision and allow a memorial to Hoyt in their yearbook. At the time of writing this article, the petition has reached 9669 signatures.

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