What happened in La Loche this past friday is every parents’ and every teachers’ worst nightmare. One major question that I had was how do you prepare for something like this. Sure, your school has a certain drill that you do incase something like this happens, but when you are not given a warning what are you supposed to do? This school definitely did not have a warning about a gunman taking fire inside their school until it was too late. La Loche is a small community that only holds approximately 3000 people so it obviously has hit home.
I haven’t really heard of La Loche until this incident, but after reading numerous articles, I have learned that they are a community of poverty and oppression. This violence as stemmed down from generation to generation due to years of oppression on First Nations peoples. I have learned that this community has a very high youth suicide rate and lack mental health services. This all relates back to the mistreatment of First Nations peoples.
I think that I would address this tragedy in my classroom if they were at the appropriate age. I think grades 8-12 are suitable as I worry that this tragedy would be too much for the grades below them. I think I would model what we did in class and have them write a journal entry about it and then have a class discussion. That way, the students can still get their feelings and opinions down if they don’t feel comfortable sharing with the class. This could also be tied into a health unit and I would address mental health.