Tēnā koutou katoa,
It is impossible to comprehend the horror of what occurred on Friday in Christchurch and the effect this has had on staff and students at Wellington High School. Jacinda Ardern’s words shortly after the incident were “they are us” and no doubt there will be students and staff who have a direct connection to grieving families and communities there. The senior leadership team and guidance has met to discuss the support we can provide for our students and staff.
In the meantime,
- if you wish to keep your student with you in the next few days, I understand and please let us know if this is the case.
- our Guidance team (counsellors, deans, senior leadership team) is available – please contact us directly if you have particular concerns. We have set up a room for quiet thought and conversation as required this week, and there is a memorial book to sign in Reception.
- we met with WERO leaders on Monday to look at how we can support the victims and their communities and we will hold a Unity Picnic on Thursday and mark ‘Colour Your Day’ on Friday.
- look after yourselves and your families and call or text the national helpline 1737 if you or a family member needs support.
He ora te whakapiri, he mate te whakatakariri — There is strength in unity, defeat in anger/division.
Viewing disturbing content online
This week, we issued a reminder to students that they should not be viewing or sharing disturbing content related to the Christchurch events online. We amended the use of computers in the library in relation to the kinds of games being played and we reviewed our whole school filtering options. We will continue to take this very seriously.
Netsafe has issued the following advice: “The footage of the Christchurch attacks is disturbing and will be harmful for people to see. If you or someone you know has viewed the video and are struggling with what you have seen please contact ‘Need to talk’ – free call or text 1737. While the content is online there is some risk that children or young people may come across it. We encourage all parents to proactively discuss with their children what they should do if they come across distressing content online. Further information is available at netsafe.org.nz/upsetting-content/“
The Ministry of Education has provided the following guidance:
- Tips for parents and educators: Supporting children and young people (Ministry of Education)
- Helping children deal with trauma (Ministry of Health)
- Talking to children about terrorism and trauma (Children’s Commissioner)
- Talking about traumatic events (Oranga Tamariki)
- Here is advice for families in Urdu, Arabic, Farsi and Malay: Advice for parents