With the one-year anniversary of last year’s fatal stabbing at Abbotsford Senior Secondary approaching, school officials are preparing a closed event to mark the day.
School district superintendent Kevin Godden said counsellors and teachers have been monitoring and supporting students and staff throughout the last year, and that work will continue as Nov. 1 approaches.
Godden said the crisis team that assisted the school will return to assist in the days leading up to next Wednesday.
The school will be recognizing the life of Letisha Reimer in a small ceremony in the morning, to be followed by a barbecue. Letisha’s family has also been involved in the plans, Godden said.
The event will be a closed one, with few outsiders, and Godden is asking the community to recognize that.
“It’s OK for us to grieve and we have to find an appropriate or thoughtful way to remember Letisha and remember her family.”
But he added that the school has also appreciated the support from the wider community over the last year.
“The support has just affirmed this amazing community in which we live and it’s helped our students and staff incredibly,” he said. Emails are one such way to continue to show support, he said.
For school officials, the focus continues to be on trying to minimize the impact of events and occurrences that could bring back the events of a year ago. Lockdown drills, for instance, are a regular part of life at many schools. But at Abbotsford Senior, there’s a recognition that such drills could trigger serious anxiety in some students.
Godden said the school has identified and is monitoring those students who need extra help dealing with the lasting effects of that day, and identifying a range of triggers, of which the upcoming anniversary is just one.
“We’re keeping an eye on everybody,” he said.