21 February 2010

Looking for the light

Oops - the breaks in this blog are nearly as long as the planning and assessment process.

I should be writing about creating a fab, accessible bathroom this week.

But like everyone else in my local community, my head and heart have been consumed with the tragic story of a Brisbane boy killed in his school by another boy, a fellow student.  This happened at my son’s school.

All of us have asked “why?”  Answers are what our kids are looking for.  I believe the answers lie within our families, our communities: the values we live, the way we choose to include some but not others, and how we equip ourselves and our  kids to manage the pain that life can inflict. 

But can I tell you, some good came out of the bad.

A school shone with courage and tenderness.  Despite the deep sadness which enveloped every member of the school, this school knew what it had to do and did it.

I watched a school draw its community close – boys, teachers, parents, support staff, families, old boys, locals.

I saw a school community numb with shock and shattered with grief for the families of both boys involved in the tragedy. 

I heard stories of individual courage and I saw with my own eyes acts of the most gentle compassion by school leaders, teachers, boys, parents, other schools.

For two hours on Friday morning the whole world stood still as we bade farewell to a beautiful little boy.  In silence, we stood behind the boys as they formed an honour guard for Elliot’s last journey from the school. 

We thank Elliot’s parents for their generosity in sharing with us the celebration of the life of their precious boy. 

We hope you know that the loss of Elliot brought out the best in 1100 boys and shone a light on a school that was not found wanting.

RIP Elliot.