Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board supporting students after death of Bastidas brothers
Jonathan Bastidas, 12, Nicholas Bastidas, 9, attended St. Bonaventure Catholic Elementary School
Grief counsellors on Friday continued to help students and staff of St. Bonaventure Catholic Elementary School cope with the aftermath of this week's tragedy in which two students died.
Jonathan Bastidas, 12, and Nicholas Bastidas, 9, were found dead late Wednesday night at a home in a quiet residential neighbourhood in Brampton, Ont.
The boys' father, Edwin Bastidas, 52, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder. He is being held on remand.
"A tragic event like this one is very layered and our response is very layered, too," said Dr. Susan Sweet, clinical psychologist and mental health liason for Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board.
"People just need support at a time like this so we would bring in the same kind of process as if we lost a student to an illness or an accident, or if we lose a staff member for some of those reasons," Sweet told CBC News.
"We try to treat every loss with the same value."
St. Bonaventure Catholic Elementary School ranges from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8, and Sweet says counselling and support is being provided based on the ages of the students and the individual needs.
"We try to have an approach where what we do for one we do for all. So, any loss within our community we try to be treating the same way so that there's no stigma or judgment," she said.
The board says the news of the deaths of the two boys has saddened the school and wider community.
Bruce Campbell, general manager of communications for the board, says in addition to bringing in grief counsellors, prayers have been offered for the students, staff and the entire community.
"These are very difficult situations and unfortunately, across our school board we do see events occur from time to time that when you go into a school you can feel the sadness and the grief, and it affects not only students but teachers and other staff as well," Campbell told CBC News on Friday.
Campbell said the board will hold "a suitable, appropriate memorial" for the two students, at a date to be announced.
"It's tough. You're talking about young children, intermediate aged children and adults. It affects everybody differently."
With files from Talia Ricci