School division bearing costs after La Loche shooting

The Dene High School building of the La Loche Community School, after the shooting last year. Courtesy Kayoty/Wikimedia Commons

The Northern Lights School Division is footing the bill for new councillors and teaching aids brought on after the deadly shooting in La Loche last year. They said they need more resources to deal with “dire need”

Almost one year after tragedy struck La Loche, Ken Ladouceur is still grateful for all the help the province sent up north.

Ladouceur is director of education for the Northern Lights School Division, which oversees the La Loche Community School, where, on Jan 22, 2016, two people died in a horrific school shooting. He remembers how school divisions across Saskatchewan sent counsellors to help students cope with the traumatic event.

He’s also thankful for commitments the provincial government made after the shooting: $750,000 for renovations, support for an on-site RCMP resource officer, funding for upgrades to the school’s security system.

But Ladouceur still understands the frustration of the school’s staff. At a press conference Monday, principal Greg Hatch said he feels “abandoned.” Hatch said the rest of the province rushed in to help, but didn’t stay to provide long-term support for the troubled community.

“I can understand why he would feel that way, because the needs in the community are so large,” Ladouceur said. “No matter how much effort we put in locally, our community is in such dire need.”

And after that initial rush of funding, in Ladouceur’s view, the school division has mostly had to fend for itself.

“The ongoing costs are borne by us,” he said.

For more on this story please see the Jan. 13 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald.