I never imagined that one day I would be invited by a friend to visit his grade 8 class as they watched a documentary, let alone one about my niece. But last week there I was, reading a short statement from Rehtaeh’s parents before watching the nightmare begin all over again. As the movie played I could hear the collective gasps in between the silence as these young people sat staring at the screen. I will be honest, it is hard for me to see Rehtaeh’s beautiful face, watch her mother’s tears fall and see the torment behind her father’s eyes but I sat there anyway because this is how I hope to help make change. I tried to answer the questions they asked but how do you respond to the many injustices when they don’t even make sense to you? Why wasn’t Rehtaeh allowed back at her school and why didn’t her school help her? Ahhh….. Why were the boys not charged with rape? Ahhh…. Where did all of her friends go? Ahhh… How do you tell grade 8 students these realities without making them feel jaded against a justice system that is theirs? Without making them feel hopeless about their future? The best way is to just tell them the straight out truth. At first I thought that maybe grade 8 was a little on the young side to watch “The Rehtaeh Parsons Story” but after spending an afternoon with these students I realized that they are the perfect age. The age right when their teenage brain is intersecting with adult repercussions. Their homework assignment was to write a letter to Leah and Glen expressing their feelings about Rehtaeh’s story and how it touched them on a personal level. I can tell you I was blown away after reading one student’s heartfelt expression of sympathy and am convinced now more than ever that this is the exact right age to reach our youth. Let’s not let this opportunity slip away but instead promise ourselves to do right by the leaders of tomorrow, share the truth and hopefully there will be one less tragedy.