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This morning, Years 3 to 12 students and staff gathered together at a special assembly as a mark of respect for the victims of Christchurch and gave their support through prayer and song for diversity and inclusion.

I said to the students and staff that as a community we need to all stand together in condemning violence as a solution to any conflict or issue and that I was certain we would all also continue to stand together with the Tintern Compass points of respect and compassion being at the centre of our community. In the appreciation of our right to hold our own view of things, in acknowledging the diverse views and rights of all others, and firm in the stance that none of us has the right to force our own views on another.

The Christchurch massacre is one of the most extreme acts of terrorism the world has seen in recent times. For New Zealand, a country of peace, enormous diversity and wonderful social acceptance, it was a loss of innocence and unfortunately, this may well impact on young people throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Some parents and caregivers may struggle to explain this tragedy to their young people, some of whom may already be struggling with high levels of anxiety about the state of their world. It is important to put this event into context for children of all ages. Although we cannot control what happens in our world, we can choose the way we respond.

In the Special Report from SchoolTV, parents and caregivers are provided with practical strategies on how to talk to their children in a reassuring manner. I hope the information offered in this Special Report is helpful for you and your family. You can access this report here.

In great sadness
Brad Fry, Principal

Photo credit: Andrew Warner NZ