September 15, 2017 7:32 pm
Updated: September 16, 2017 12:39 pm

Community reels after dog attack tragedy

Shockwaves are rippling through the community as people struggle to come to terms with the horrific dog attack that left a six-year-old boy dead in Riceton. Jules Knox reports.

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Two days after six-year-old Cameron Mushanski was fatally mauled in a dog attack, people are struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.

“I can tell you that there isn’t a person in that school that won’t grieve for that little boy today,” Ben Grebinski, Prairie Valley School Division’s director of education, said.

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“It’s a matter of giving the students the opportunity to express their sadness, expressing to them that it’s OK to be sad, it’s OK to be disappointed in what happened. It’s OK to miss their friend,” Grebinski said.

“But part of the education system is to prepare children for experiences that are unexpected in life, and this is an example of that.”

READ MORE: Saskatchewan community mourns the death of six-year-old boy after dog attack

The school division has sent counselling and grief support to the school.

“The person who’s going to have the most impact on dealing with the grief that the young children may experience, the difficulties they may have understanding, will be the classroom teacher,” Grebinski said.

“That’s the person they’re closest to. That’s the person that’s established routines and a relationship with [Cameron] right off the front end. Our support staff go out to provide support to that individual teacher and those individual students who require additional support.”

Grebinski said the school division deployed resources, including a registered psychologist and social workers, as soon as it learned one of its students had passed away.

There was some early confusion as the news became public before school officials notified parents.

“We certainly have to respect the privacy of the individual. We are not permitted by our application to disclose any information pertaining to any student until we’ve received clearance from the RCMP and the family,” Grebinski said.

Parents were notified by email and phone later in the afternoon, Grebinski said.

The expectation was that parents would tell their children, he added.

No classes have been cancelled, but the school division said support services will be there for as long as they are needed.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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