School behaviour praised

by Mike Isle

Selwyn’s school principals have praised the behaviour of staff and students during Friday’s shooting at two Christchurch mosques. Along with schools in Christchurch, schools in Selwyn went into immediate lockdown until cleared by police, and for most that meant being confined to classrooms for three and a half hours.

The principal of Lemonwood Grove School Sean Bailey said his school was in lockdown from 2.30 to 6pm but encountered no problems.

“We have regular lockdown practices at Lemonwood Grove, so our learners were very familiar with what to do. They coped very well under these challenging circumstances. Our community were very grateful for what we did to ensure everyone remained safe and calm over the hours.”

Bailey said Lemonwood Grove would be carrying out a review this week to see if there are things they could improve on.

Rolleston College was also in lockdown until 6pm.

Its principal Steve Saville said theirs was a smooth process and everyone was safe and calm.

“We have [also] had assemblies and activities this week designed to empower learners to embrace kindness and reject hate.

“Students have been involved in a number of activities to give them personal empowerment, including letters to the police, poster making, T-shirt designs, videos etc.

“The lockdown went well, and the learners and staff were amazing. This week they have responded with sensitivity and compassion.

“We are proud… but hurting,” said Saville.

The principal of Clearview Primary Rob Rush said he is making staff and student welfare the school’s focus this week.

“We have been overwhelmed with multiple acts of kindness and thanks from our parents.

“They have been appreciative of the way our staff cared for their children during the lockdown.”

Darfield High School’s James Morris said that along with the rest of New Zealand his staff and students are deeply disturbed by the murders that occurred on Friday.

“We have staff and students who are directly affected. We held a service on Monday and students are going to be working with students in Christchurch with the paper chain of love project.”

Anyone wanting to show their support for the victims, as many thousands have done, can donate to the special Give a Little Victim Support page givealittle.co.nz/cause/christchurch-shooting-victims-fund.

Anyone wanting to talk to a trained counsellor can phone or text 1737 to be put through to a counsellor any time of the day or night. This is a free service for everyone.