La Loche high school prepares to welcome back students after shooting
The La Loche Community School in northern Saskatchewan is preparing to welcome back high school students on Friday, more than a month after a shooting that killed two people and left seven others wounded.
About 395 high school students have not attended classes since the Jan. 22 deaths of teacher Adam Wood and teacher's aide Marie Janvier. A 17-year-old has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder in connection with the shooting.
Security has been increased at the school and officials have set up two satellite classrooms for students who may not feel comfortable entering the building again.
“It will look different,” vice-principal Donna Janvier told reporters on Wednesday. She said administrators and staff are looking forward to seeing the students stream through the hallways again, but they are not quite sure what to expect.
Following the media briefing, administrators and teachers embarked on a “Reclaiming Our School” walk, as a show of support for the school and the community at large. They were joined by students as they marched down La Loche’s main road, holding signs and banners.
The school will also introduce a volunteer-run hot breakfast program in an effort to make the students feel comfortable again.
At the nearby elementary school, approximately 470 students have already returned to class.
Vice-principal Erin Trotechaud said it was a joy to see the younger kids “smiling and happy.”
She said filling the building with children once again “washed away” the fear and anxiety that was previously felt.
“It feels like home again,” she said.
With files from The Canadian Press