'Tragically… situations like this do occur': Coping with trauma and learning from tragedy
EDMONTON -- A school safety expert says people can learn from the tragedy that happened in Leduc Monday and that everyone has a role in preventing violence.
“The whole purpose is to be able to pick up on individuals who are moving on a pathway to serious violence before the act occurs,” said Kevin Cameron, the executive director at the North American Center for Threat Assessment & Trauma Response.
“Tragically, from time to time, situations like this to occur, but a lot of time… especially kids, give blatant, pre-instance signs and indicators.”
Cameron and his team have trained school leaders, teachers and resource officers in school districts across the country on violence prevention.
Young people often will talk to friends about violent thoughts, share thoughts online or let it influence their school work, according to Cameron.
“We want staff who see concerning writings and drawings to bring them in and let admin, the school resource officers and others activate the protocol to see if there’s some substance to it,” said Cameron.
“We get to prevent many acts of violence across this country and beyond by using proper protocols.”
Cameron also wanted to stress that everyone deals with grief differently.
“Some children need to talk, they need to talk a lot… other kids don’t need to talk right now, they just need to be in the presence of adults where they feel safe.”
He added that this tragedy can open the door for meaningful conversations between parents and kids about what is going on in school and on social media.
“I would want every parent, caregiver and staff member to know that in the midst of this tragedy everybody has a right to be impacted as much as they are or are feeling.
“In this terrible tragedy… even students who maybe didn’t have a close relationship with the deceased, witnessed an unbelievable trauma.”