How to talk to your kids about the Garland trial
'If they're asking questions, I think it's important to be honest with children'
The grisly testimony coming out of the Douglas Garland triple-murder trial currently underway in Calgary could impact observers, especially children, but help is available, an expert says.
"Some very shocking details are coming out that I think has an impact on our community," Joan Roy of the Distress Centre told CBC News.
Roy says, in some cases, it may be appropriate to help children understand what is going on.
Important to be honest
"I think it's good for parents to try and limit as much exposure that children have to some of the details. But if they're asking questions I think it's important to be honest with children and tell them as much as is age appropriate."
She says the issues raised in the trial, which involve a five-year-old boy, could hit close to home.
"This can be a scary thing for kids, going and spending the weekend with grandma and gramdpa and then something really bad happens. Parents need to reassure children that they're safe and that not only their parents, but their grandparents and everyone that loves them, takes care of them."
A journalism professor, however, says it's important for the details to see the light of day for the public and journalism students.
"I think it's probably one of the most tragic cases and high-profile cases that we've had in Calgary," Janice Paskey of Mount Royal University said.
"It gripped the city for weeks when it first occurred and now we're kind of reliving it and the sadness I think that we all feel for the family."
Citizens have a right to know
That said, the transparency of the Canadian judicial system is something that must be vigorously protected.
"Citizens have the right to know what's being said in the courts. They have a right to try to make their own decisions about the case, about the defence, the prosecution and the sentence that might come down from that court."
Roy says if the details are too intense for some people there is help available through the Distress Centre, family counsellors and others.
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With files from Allison Dempster