We are all deeply saddened by the tragic event that occurred on Friday afternoon in the community of La Loche in Saskatchewan. Our thoughts are with the families and those affected.
It is important to keep in mind that an event like this is rare, especially in Canada. Schools are one of the safest places for children and youth during the school day, and an important place for them to receive support and return to normalcy. Communication and collaboration among the school, parents, and community is critical to ensure that our students continue to view schools as safe, caring, and supportive environments. Further, how adults react to this tragedy can shape the way children and youth react and their perceptions of safety.
Board staff can reinforce students’ sense of safety by:
- making classrooms predictable and welcoming,
- providing access to mental health supports as needed, and
- connecting families with other available resources after school hours
Families are encouraged to:
- spend time together,
- validate children’s feelings,
- ask for help as needed, and
- find calm and relaxing activities to do at home.
It is very important to limit children’s exposure to media coverage, particularly for young children. If children are watching the news or accessing information online, parents and caregivers should be available to talk to their children about it.
We are aware that some children will not have any familiarity with this event. As a result, we feel that the topic will best be handled as needed in the class setting by teachers most familiar with their students. Public announcements will not be mentioned of this event. To demonstrate respect, all Board buildings will lower their flags to half-mast on Monday morning.