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Christchurch school principal says kids are coping in their own way, following mosque killings

The principal of Linwood Avenue primary school says all his students are back to school a week on from the shootings.

Blair Dravitski told TVNZ1’s Breakfast he’s really pleased all the kids have returned following Friday's terrorist attack that left 50 dead at two mosques. 

The Linwood mosque is nearby. 

“We had 25 per cent of the roll away on Monday and that’s progressively grown to a full school roll yesterday, so really pleased to have all the kids back and being able to support them at school.”

But he says even though they’re in school, they’re coping in different ways.

“Some are visibly upset, others are as per normal, just carrying on and then there are kids in the middle where various different things affect them differently.”

Mr Dravitski say the students and staff have been given a wide range of support.

“We’ve had the Ministry of Education trauma team, we’ve had NZEI, we’ve had senior advisors, we’ve had a huge range of support.

“It’s been a great support for us as well as the staff, just checking in really making sure we’re okay and reassuring us that it’s not just a week process, they’ll be there next week and the week after as well as long as we need them because everyone reacts differently in these situations.”

He says the cordons are still up at the front of their school, which serves as a visual reminder.

“There’s still police down the road as well, so we do have that constant reminder of what’s been going on.”

Mr Dravitski says the school has already built some resilience as the east side was hugely affected by the quakes.

“Nothing can prepare you for the heinous act that happened on Friday so we’ve done our best to maintain a level of calm and normality within our school to try and just allow the kids to move forward and move on.”

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Blair Dravitski told Breakfast even though they’re in school, they’re coping in different ways. Source: Breakfast