EDITORIAL: Call for calm in wake of tragedy

Don't let panic prevail in wake of tragic double-stabbing in Abbotsford.

Tuesday’s inexplicable double stabbing at an Abbotsford high school has left a community heartbroken, horrified and fearful.

One teen is dead, another remains in hospital and families throughout the Fraser Valley, Metro Vancouver and all of B.C. are searching, all too helplessly, for answers.

But as tragic and terrifying as the attack was to all – from those directly affected to the community at large – it is imperative that panic is not allowed to prevail.

The fact is, such incidents are not the norm. They are, by far, the exception.

And while that is small comfort to those who experienced this nightmare or any other, and will forever live with its repercussions – from the families of the victims, to the students who witnessed or were targeted, to school staff who intervened and restrained the unknown assailant – it is a reality that cannot be lost.

The reality is schools – like other areas where strangers gather en masse – are, by and large, safe places. Specifically, schools are places of learning, growth and friendship, where lifelong memories are formed and future paths are charted.

Sadly, random, senseless acts can happen anywhere – the incident in Abbotsford is inarguable proof of that, as was the deadly shooting rampage at Washington’s Cascade Mall in September and other violent incidents over the years that have shocked the world – but they are impossible to predict.

And while we must prepare as best as possible for emergencies of all kinds, we cannot allow our daily activities to be determined by an expectation that tragedy can strike at any moment.

Yes, our youth – as must individuals of all ages – need to be aware what to do in event of emergency. But we can’t allow them to focus on chance tragedies, dictating their every move and thought.

Now is the time for discussion, in every classroom in the province, and every home and every office.

We must be prepared, but we must talk through this to ensure we don’t become fixated solely on our tragedies.

Life is, quite simply, too short.

Just Posted

Setting the stage for emerging performers

Variety fundraiser and ongoing open-mics showcase local talent

Man ‘seriously’ injured in crash after driving wrong way on Highway 17: Surrey RCMP

Police say the sedan hit a transport truck, then another car

Easter ‘eggstravaganza’ event planned for South Surrey

Event is to run from 12-3 p.m. at Dufferin Park (17355 2 Ave.).

Update: Surrey Mounties found missing man

Kuldip Sandhu, 41, had been reported missing

Surrey resident says proposed apartment building is a ‘monstrosity’ in Whalley neighbourhood

Philip Galbraith says he voted for Safe Surrey Coalition to ‘slow down development’

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Langley MP describes most recent diagnosis as a ‘miracle’

Tory Member of Parliament Mark Warawa doesn’t have pancreatic cancer, but operable colon cancer

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Rare ‘Snow Tower’ tree blooming in Vancouver city park

A plant rarely grown in Canada is now flowering at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park

Most Read

l -->