Support team to help school pupils

A special support team is to be set up in a Craigavon school to help the children cope with witnessing a shooting yesterday.

Tuesday, 22nd March 2016, 1:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd March 2016, 1:07 pm

A man was shot just outside St Brendan’s Primary School as pupils were leaving for the day.

The injured man is in a “stable” condition in hospital.

A statement from St Brendan’s PS said: “Trained staff from the Education Authority’s Critical Incident Response Team are in school today to support us at this time. Today has been about reassurance and also continuing with our normal routine in a sensitive and caring manner. We will continue to closely monitor everyone and liaise with parents and other support services.

“May I just take this opportunity to thank our whole school community and indeed the wider community for their support at this time. I would also like to pay tribute to our staff who acted in such a calm and professional manner. All appropriate procedures were quickly and effectively followed in relation to the safety and well-being of our pupils.”

Education Minister John O’Dowd said the attack caused distress to both children and adults.

“The emotional well being of pupils is paramount,” he said.

“I have asked for a critical incident team to be dispatched to the school to offer support and assistance.”

He said the attack demonstrated a “blatant disregard” for the safety of pupils, parents and staff.

“I also want to commend school staff who reacted courageously during and after the attack, to ensure the safety of their pupils. The actions of St Brendan’s staff are in stark contrast to those who carried this attack,” he said.