Manitoba

Counsellors to be sent to inner city schools after violent week, division says

The Winnipeg School Division is mobilizing its team of clinical support staff after a week of violent incidents in the city, several of them involving youth.

The Winnipeg School Division says it wants to remind parents and teachers supports are available

A memorial for Hunter Straight-Smith, 3, was set up outside the Pritchard Avenue home where he was stabbed multiple times in his sleep early Wednesday. The boy was taken off life-support and died Saturday, a family spokesperson said. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

The Winnipeg School Division is mobilizing its team of clinical support staff after a week of violent incidents in the city, several of them involving youth.

"We recognize that there were a lot of violent incidents happening and we wanted to make sure that our parents, and our students knew that there are supports available through the school system," said Winnipeg School Division spokesperson Radean Carter.

Over the weekend a 3-year-old boy was taken off life-support and died after he was stabbed multiple times in his Pritchard Avenue home on Wednesday. 

A week before, a 14-year-old girl was killed at a Halloween party on Kinver Avenue in the city's Tyndall Park area. A 16-year-old girl and 18-year-old woman were both charged with second-degree murder in connection with that incident.

The following day, a baby was among those taken to hospital after a daytime shotgun attack at a home on Flora Avenue.

Carter said a letter was sent home to parents of children who attend a number of core area schools on Friday reminding them support services are available through the school.

Psychologists, social workers and guidance counsellors will be on hand at inner city schools to address concerns that arise from the week's events, Carter said.

Supports for families, teachers

The division is focusing its response on schools in the city's core area this week but are prepared to expand support to wherever it is needed.

"Unfortunately this isn't the first time that we've experienced a wave of violence or a wave of things that happen that cause a lot of concern," she said.

Carter said teachers are also being reminded that supports are available through the employee assistance program as well as through the Manitoba Teachers Society.

"Our teachers are also really feeling the impact of the violence in the city," said Carter.

"They're working with these kids all the time and seeing the anxiety that's happening for kids and that's affecting them as well."

"We want to make sure that they know that they also have supports."