No doubt all members of our community were extremely shocked and upset by the horrific events that took place in Christchurch last week. Any form of terror activity is confronting, however given that we are a faith-based community who cares for young people, and the fact that the target of this attack was a customary and regular religious practice attended by men, women and children (not dissimilar to the variety of events held in our own Chapel each week) means the impact may be more resounding.
In our hyper connected and media driven world, it becomes more and more difficult to shield young people from these events, so as parents and educators it is important that we are reflective and considered in helping those we teach and care for to make sense of such an event.
In light of the events that transpired in Christchurch, SchoolTV has published a highly relevant and practical piece of advice around the types of questions children and adolescents may ask, and some guidelines in terms of age appropriate responses which attempt to be honest about the incident without contributing to higher levels of fear and anxiety in young people. I would strongly encourage all our families to access this resource. You can view the SchoolTV feature here.
Michael Grose, founder and author of the Parenting Ideas website also provides some very good advice on discussing this event.
Events like Christchurch strengthen our commitment to being a community in which all faiths are accepted and valued, and where compassion, respect and understanding provide the foundations for our interactions. These types of events also mean our entire community will be more resolute in pursuing our School’s purpose and focus on encouraging our students to become ‘outstanding citizens who work to create a just, loving and peaceful society’ as the ability to foster the ideals of justice, love and peace provide hopefulness in light of the fear and hate that we unfortunately saw gain coverage on that terrible day last week.
I share with you the words of our Senior Chaplain the Rev’d Canon Dr Philip Raymont , which echo our community sentiments
God of grace and mercy,
We pray for the people of Christchurch and New Zealand.
We pray for all victims who have died in these attacks and for those still in hospital,
for the mercy of your eternal love.
We pray for all who mourn, for families, friends, communities, a nation.
We pray for Muslim communities grieving
and we pray for understanding and acceptance throughout the world
between people of all faiths and none. Amen.
Mr Brad Evans
Head of Senior School
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