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School District 42 responds to Pitt Meadows gang rape

School District 42, which covers Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, this afternoon published a statement on a widely reported gang rape and online distribution of photos of the rape.

Among other things, the statement said:

School staff in School District No. 42 continue to monitor the needs of any students who may have been impacted by involvement in or knowledge of a sexual assault that took place at a party last weekend. At the same time district staff are cooperating with the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment as they conduct their investigation.

As news of the incident circulated, Superintendent of Schools Jan Unwin visited schools to ensure that all necessary systems were in place. Each school has a team of staff who have been trained to respond to a variety of critical incidents and to provide counseling where necessary. In addition, schools work closely with numerous community agencies, which can be brought in where appropriate.

Superintendent Unwin found that the situation was well in-hand at all locations. In speaking to students she also found that “without exception the vast majority of our students are equally disturbed by what has taken place and have stepped forward with empathy and thoughtfulness on behalf of all those impacted.”

The statement also quoted Superintendent Unwin as saying: “as educators, we continue to seek out teachable moments and revisit many of the issues that come to the forefront when this sort of thing happens.”

Meanwhile, a Facebook page in support for 16yr old victim in Pitt Meadows has expressed the views of many persons furious with both the sexual assault and its dissemination online.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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