LA LOCHE, Sask. – The northern Saskatchewan school where a mass shooting occurred won’t open for at least another week and, when it does, it may have security. The Northern Lights School Division has told parents that classes at the La Loche Community School won’t resume for seven to 10 days, Donna Johnson of the Education Ministry said Wednesday.
The division is willing to put security in the school, she said, but first wants to discuss details with the community and the RCMP.
FULL COVERAGE: La Loche school shooting
“The school division is prepared to add security to the school by placing someone inside who will build relationships with staff and students to add a sense of security to the high school,” Johnson said.
“It could be a school resource officer. It could be an RCMP officer. The question that the school division is working out with the community is what presence, what level of security, does the community want? What do the parents want?”
The school has been closed since four people were killed in La Loche last week.
RCMP have said a suspect first shot dead two teens at a home before killing two staff and wounding seven others at the high school.
Teacher’s aide Marie Janvier, 21, died at the school and Adam Wood, a 35-year-old teacher from Ontario, died soon after in hospital. The bodies of brothers Drayden Fontaine, 13, and Dayne Fontaine, 17, were discovered in the house.
A health official said four of the wounded remain in a Saskatoon hospital, but no information on their conditions has been released.
A 17-year-old boy, who can’t be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder. Friends have said he was an outcast at home and a victim of bullying at school.
La Loche, an isolated Dene town of about 3,000 people, has high suicide and crime rates and residents there don’t have many opportunities.
Premier Brad Wall has said the community will get all the support it needs and, in the long term, there will be help for infrastructure, education and health care.
Interim mayor Kevin Janvier has suggested that the school needs to be torn down and rebuilt before the community can move forward.
The school has two buildings – one for elementary children and the other for students in Grades 7 to 12. The shooting took place at the high school, which has been closed. Classes have also been cancelled at the elementary school, although it has remained open for young people to gather, receive counselling or play sports such as floor hockey.
Johnson said there are about 350 students enrolled in the high school. When the shooting happened shortly after lunch Friday, there were about 150 kids inside because many had finished writing final exams in the morning. No other tests or classes were scheduled that afternoon.
When the school does reopen, Johnson added, high-school classes may be moved to other locations.