Soft lockdown at Sparwood school

The first week of school this year was especially challenging for the staff and students at Frank J. Mitchell Elementary School in Sparwood. The second day of classes began with news that a three-year-old boy had gone missing from his bed in the middle of the night. Soon afterward, the community became aware that Kienan Hebert had likely been abducted.

The first week of school this year was especially challenging for the staff and students at Frank J. Mitchell Elementary School in Sparwood. The second day of classes began with news that a three-year-old boy had gone missing from his bed in the middle of the night. Soon afterward, the community became aware that Kienan Hebert had likely been abducted.

At that point, a community that had been desperately searching for one little boy became afraid for the safety of all its young children. Parents didn’t know exactly what they might be up against or what to expect. The staff at FJMES responded immediately by enacting a “soft lockdown” to ensure that all students would be safe, and to give parents confidence in sending their children to school.

The students could not remain immune to the fear and distress that was gripping their homes and community. Their routines and usual outdoor play were restricted in this time when police, military, and hundreds of volunteers were scouring their town and the forest nearby. At school the students encountered doors locked against outsiders and some restrictions on their usual activities. Naturally the children were somewhat stressed.

Recognizing their students’ increased need to play safely outdoors, the whole staff, rather than the usual few, supervised recess break, despite the fact that recess at all SD5 schools had been cancelled by the district. Then the staff gave up their lunch break in shifts to provide maximum protection to half the students going outdoors at a time. The teachers, who were anxious parents and community members themselves, all wanted to do their part to help.

The teachers had begun the year in job action to protest sluggish bargaining talks by withdrawing a number of routine duties, including supervision. Yet they unanimously and immediately abandoned this and went beyond even their usual duties to protect their students.

Now the immediate crisis has passed, Kienan has been returned, and the alleged kidnapper has been caught. So the teachers have returned to their job action, some aspects of which may prove annoying to parents, but students and parents will have no doubt that the safety and well-being of the community’s children comes first with its teachers.

 

Just Posted

Gay minister challenges preconceptions

Andrea Brennan serves Fernie at pivotal time in church’s history

Documentary reveals Fernie’s role in WWI internment operations

That Never Happened to screen on 100th anniversary of Morrissey internment camp closure

Environmental monitoring meeting in Elkford tonight

Meeting to focus on environmental monitoring programs at Teck coal mines in the Elk Valley

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Elkford councillor Joe Zarowny remembered

The District of Elkford today announced the passing of long time councillor,… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Meet the City of Fernie candidates

Voters in Fernie will vote for one Mayor, six Councillors and one School Board Trustee on October 20

Meet the District of Sparwood candidates

Voters in Sparwood will vote for one Mayor and six Councillors on October 20

Meet the District of Elkford candidates

The Elkford Chamber of Commerce will host an All Candidates Forum on October 4

Candidates reminded to steer clear of the polls, except to vote

Elk Valley election candidates have been reminded they must steer clear of… Continue reading

Migrants, police mass in town on Guatemala-Mexico border

Many of the more than 2,000 Hondurans in a migrant caravan trying to wend its way to the United States left spontaneously with little more than the clothes on their backs and what they could quickly throw into backpacks.

5 to start your day

Man killed in shooting at Abbotsford bank, ex-Surrey cop to appear in court after Creep Catchers sting and more

Trump: ‘Severe’ consequences if Saudis murdered Khashoggi

Pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak on Wednesday said it had obtained audio recordings of the alleged killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Feds dead set against ‘ridiculous’ quotas to replace steel, aluminum tariffs

Donald Trump imposed the so-called Section 232 tariffs — 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum — back in June on national security grounds.

Most Read