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These are difficult times...

After reading about Steve Yee, the principal at Oakwood Collegiate, and the week he's having, I can't say I envy him one bit. How does one deal with a school community that was victim of an almost attack on one of the most infamous anniversaries in Canadian history? What's more, this story is all over the news...

Today, principals are called on not only to be prepared to run schools under the most difficult of circumstances, but those circumstances are further complicated when the media gets involved because it multiplies the audience exponentially. Not that anyone is trying to hide anything, but with the number of tragic stories about schools in the news in recent years, it heightens pre-existing anxieties among parents and students alike.  How does he rally the support of his staff, who are very likely to be feeling scared and unsure, to help make the students feel safe at school? How does the principal win the confidence of parents so that they believe their children are safe at school? It's a tough situation to be and obviously he isn't working alone. He has the support of central staff and police services to guide him through this situation. There's not a whole lot of training for this sort of thing. You can attend all the VITRA workshops and training you want but when push comes to shove, there's no knowing how one will react. In circumstances like these administrators rely on the support of superintendents and communications staff for guidance and their school staff to maintain status quo as much as possible to cling to a sense of normalcy and routine. There's nothing like an event like this to derail all the good work schools are doing and for public confidence to waiver.


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