Students in Vancouver schools are being offered counselling and support following a deadly shooting spree at an elementary school in Connecticut.
School district spokesperson Kurt Heinrich said administrators and teachers have been asked to be attentive to any student concerns that arise about the tragedy. School and district counsellors are also available as needed.
“I think at the school level, in a lot of cases, classrooms will be discussing this,” Heinrich told the Straight by phone today (December 17). “We’re encouraging teachers not necessarily to dwell on the events but to address it in a factual way and to let children guide the conversation.”
The school district has emphasized that safety in Vancouver schools continues to be a priority. Heinrich said the district works closely with police on school security plans and each school typically conducts two lockdown drills a year.
“The drills that we do and the preparation as well as our general guidelines of how we immediately deal with these sort of situations is a testament to the safety at our schools,” he said.
Heinrich said the families affected by the shooting are in the thoughts and prayers of people with the Vancouver school district.
“As it became more and more evident how severe and horrible that tragedy is, I think everybody here at the board was really saddened by what happened,” he said. “It’s definitely something that we have been thinking about.”