Central Okanagan School District administrative office in Kelowna. Photo credit: Barry Gerding/Black Press

Central Okanagan School District reacts to violence

Letter sent to parents regarding Edmonton/Vegas shootings

The Central Okanagan School District has attempted to quell any anxiety among parents and students in the wake of acts of violence that occurred in Edmonton and Las Vegas last weekend.

In a letter sent to parents from Kevin Kaardal, school superintendent/CEO, said student safety remains the school district’s top priority.

“These tragedies are receiving significant media attention and your child may be impacted by it,” wrote Kaardal. “Staff members have been asked to watch for student reaction and to offer support if needed.”

Kaardal also offered some strategies to help parents “enhance meaningful connections and support your children through time time of grief and anxiety.

Among those strategies are:

* Be yourself and demonstrate your natural concern calmly and in your own words.

* Spend time with your child. Attempt to distract your child by reading, walking, going to a movie or other normal family activities that you can do together.

* Develop resiliency by letting your child know that they will get through this difficult period and that the risk is remote that a repeat incident will occur here.

* Monitor media exposure to reports on these incidents, especially for preschool and elementary-age children.

* Maintain regular routines as much as possible. We are creatures of habit and derive comfort from regular routines.

As we reflect on these tragedies, Kaardal added that “our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victims and all those that are impacted by these events.”