La Loche school principal says staff, students still struggling year after shooting

Larissa Burnouf
APTN National News
A year after a gunman opened fire at a high school in La Loche, Sask. the school’s principle says students and staff continue to struggle.

Dene High School Principal Greg Hatch says people feel they’ve been abandoned.

“We feel like we’ve been left alone and been abandoned,” said Hatch. “I can honestly say that on behalf of the students and staff and probably parents.”

It was on Jan. 22, 2016 when a 17-year-old gunman walked in the community’s school and opened fire claiming the lives of teacher Adam Wood and teaching assistant Marie Janvier. Seven others were wounded. Police later found the bodies of two others at a home shot by the gunman.

Hatch said supports were brought into the community after the shooting but have left a few weeks later.

“We had everybody rushed into our community, into our school. They were with us for a month, a little more than a month and then everybody left,” he said.

The community had has a hard road to recovery. The remote community was flooded with news media from all corners of the country. Leaders also attended services for the victims, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Talks of possibly tearing down the school and rebuilding a new circulated in the aftermath.

Instead, it reopened a month later.

The teen gunman has pleaded guilty to first and second degree murder, as well as attempted murder.

His sentencing is scheduled in the spring.

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