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SD78 offers support to Hope students, teachers and families coping with Russian invasion of Ukraine

Though the conflict is on the other side of the world, its impacts are being felt locally
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While the war between Russia and the Ukraine is a world away, it’s impact is being felt in Hope.

Fraser Cascade School District 78 superintendent Balan Moorthy sent out a letter Thursday morning (March 3) acknowledging that students, families and staff may be struggling.

“The current tragedy in Ukraine will be in the hearts and minds of many of our students, families and staff,” he wrote. “It will also be very sensitive for everyone who have relatives in this part of the world. When critical events occur in our world, we have a moral responsibility to be aware of the events and recognize how these may impact everyone’s emotional health.”

Moorthy acknowledged that talking to students about tragic global events “can be challenging to navigate appropriately,” but he said they depend on adults to help them feel safe.

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Sharing info provided by Vancouver School District 39, Moorthy offered the following suggestions:

- Acknowledging any feelings and concerns that arise and reassure your child is in a safe place.

- This type of global issue may trigger an emotional response in you as well as your child. Recognizing your feelings enables us to be more supportive and gives children a model to express their feelings.

- Give children the opportunity to express their concerns and ask questions, listen carefully to what they are saying and respond in as objective away as possible. If you don’t know an answer, don’t be afraid to say so. Children need to know that adults are taking their concerns and questions seriously.

- Be aware of the potential impact of “media overload” from traditional media and the internet. Talk to your children about the importance of limiting their exposure to this coverage, especially for secondary students.

Moorthy said SD78 is making two people available for those needing assistance.

District counsellors Dr. Bernard Klop and Joanne Kovanchak can be reached by their respective emails at bernard.klop@sd78.bc.ca and joanne.kovanchak@ds78.bc.ca.

“Our Secondary schools have counselling staff at Agassiz Elementary Secondary and Hope Secondary School,” Moorthy added. “You may also reach out to your child’s teacher or Principal for help so we can direct you to further supports.

“Our hearts go out to everyone who are directly or indirectly impacted by this tragedy.”


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eric.welsh@hopestandard.com

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Eric Welsh

About the Author: Eric Welsh

I joined the Chilliwack Progress in 2007, originally hired as a sports reporter.
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