Jim Cambridge, the SD62 Superintendent of Schools, has issued the following statement regarding the death of student at Belmont, due to a drug overdose.
“Last weekend, SD62 lost a member of our student community to a drug overdose. Along with many of our students and staff, we are sad and shocked. On behalf of all of our 26 schools, we send our thoughts and condolences to the grieving family and friends.
“We have put out an offer of support for students and staff effected by this tragedy.”
The School District 62 is encouraging parents and caregivers to talk with their children about drugs. They sent out the following email to all parents. The information is also available on the district’s website.
In a proactive measure to reach out to families, we’re writing you today to remind you about the importance of talking openly with your children, specifically about substance abuse. Our aim is to provide an opportunity for parents, teachers and positive members of community to offer education and early intervention to prevent harm.
In our schools, we encourage students to make healthy choices by maintaining good relationships and having conversations with peers, parents and adults. We hope that you can encourage this at home as well. This includes conversations about decisions around substance use, including alcohol, medications and other drugs.
Here are some tips on how to start the conversation:
- Keep the lines of communication open and have honest and non-judgemental conversations with your teen—this will create trust and encourage openness
- Approach the conversation with curiosity and interest
- Ask for their opinions
- Focus on your concerns for their safety
- Know the facts about the drug
- Understand and address your own fears before starting the conversation
While we understand that this may not be a comfortable conversation to have with your children, we encourage you to talk with your son or daughter about any questions and/or feelings they may have about drug and alcohol use. Please take a moment to read the attached documents for more information.
- Let’s Talk – Speaking to our kids about substance use, Island Health
- Xanax among teens: what we need to know, Island Health
- Talking with teenagers about drugs, Health Canada
We understand that students learn in many different ways. By approaching these types of conversations holistically, we hope that our students/your children will have the tools they need to make healthy behavioural choices. Please do not hesitate to contact the school if you have any concerns about your child’s response or behaviour to these types of conversations.