Flags outside of Waterloo Region District School Board schools and buildings will be flown at half-mast to support the victims and their families of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
19 students and two teachers were killed by a gunman at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas Tuesday.
The school board said in a news release on its website that the school community is shocked and deeply saddened about the tragedy.
"Although this tragedy happened in the United States, we know students will have questions and concerns. As our first demonstration of respect and sympathy for those who lost their lives and for their families, flags at all WRDSB schools and buildings are being flown at half-mast until the end of the day Tuesday, May 31."
WRDSB said it takes pride in keeping our schools safe and secure for students and staff and the board is stunned that such a senseless tragedy could occur. It goes on to say that although these tragedies are rare, we cannot downplay their impact on students, teachers, and parents.
The school board is assuring parents that WRDSB is making the safety and security of students and staff its number one priority with the following policies:
- Policies, protocols and procedures in place that enable us to provide as safe an environment as possible for students
- Strong community partnership with significant community organizations such as the Waterloo Regional Police Service, Canadian Mental Health Association, Family and Children’s Services, among others
The school board also offered tips on how to speak with children about acts of violence.
"High profile acts of violence, particularly in schools, can confuse and frighten children who may feel in danger or worry that their friends or loved-ones are at risk. They will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and caregivers can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security and talking with them about their fears."