Nanaimo school district is making plans for students in Nice

Nanaimo students heading home following attack in Nice, France

A number of Nanaimo high school students will be headed home following an attack in Nice, France.

A number of Nanaimo high school students will return home following an attack in Nice, France, Nanaimo school district has announced.

According to multiple media reports, more than 80 people were killed after a man drove a truck into a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day in France on Thursday night.

Shortly after, Nanaimo school district tweeted that all of the students and chaperones in Nice for a two-week homestay program, were accounted for and safe following the deadly attack.

Dale Burgos, Nanaimo school district spokesman, told the News Bulletin Friday morning that the district was working with the Ministry of Education, Canadian Centre for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response, in addition to the RCMP, Safer Schools Together.

In a press release, the school district said the decision was “based on advice and an abundance of caution.”

“Getting our students home safe, and providing counselling support for those in Nice is the No. 1 priority for the district,” said Superintendent John Blain in the release.

“After speaking with the Ministry, Kevin Cameron and Theresa Campbell with Safer Schools Together, the district made the difficult decision to bring our kids, staff and their families home. They have witnessed a horrific event and will need ongoing support from the district.

“We are prepared to offer our counsellors to all students and staff for as long as they need,” Blain said.

The district will work with the ministry to make travel arrangements and determine financial support needed to bring students and staff home early.

“The Ministry of Education has committed to ongoing financial and expert support for the district, staff, students and families involved,” the press release read.

Many students had witnessed or were not far away from the attacks at the Bastille Day festivities, said the district.

Burgos said a meeting for parents was held Saturday and feedback from the meeting was being taken into consideration.

The district is still assessing travel arrangements, he said.

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