This week sees the sentencing trial for the Christchurch mosque shooter.
We’ve had a few members of our community concerned about how this might affect the students at school.
I have contacted both the MOE and the NZ Police. The MOE have provided schools with a number of resources to support students wellbeing and mental health.
The NZ Police have no concerns for us, despite our relatively close proximity to the justice precinct. They expect the Lichfield Street side of the courts to be busier than usual, but have no plans for blocking off roads in the area. They do not anticipate that the trial will cause issues for families picking up or dropping off their children at Ao Tawhiti. They also do not believe that their will be any additional health and safety issues for our community.
I have confidence that the NZ Police have plans in place to manage the health and safety of the public. I do however think that we can further mitigate any potential risk through some basic changes to our normal routines.
To add an extra layer of support, I would strongly encourage that where you can you avoid the courts area for the duration of the trial. If you usually arrange to pick your child up from near the justice precinct, you may wish to change the pick up point to somewhere (perhaps towards South City). Additionally, the Y1-6 students (actually all students but it particularly affects Y1-6) will not use Matai Common at all while the trial is on. Any offsite trips that are planned, will take an alternative route that avoids the courts area.
Can you also please speak with your children who have trust licences (Y7-13 students in general) and encourage them to avoid the courts area and Matai Common.
Thanks for your support and I’ll keep you posted should the information from the MOE or Police change during the trial