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New West K class in lockdown after Science World police incident

A kindergarten class from Lord Tweedsmuir elementary in New Westminster on a field trip to Science World got caught up in a real-life drama Tuesday.

The 22 students in teacher Alissa Arnold's class were put in lockdown as Vancouver police took down an alleged shooting suspect outside of Science World Tuesday morning. New Westminster district superintendent/CEO John Gaiptman said in a notice the students were safe and watched a movie before being allowed to board their bus.

Gaiptman said the district was developing a plan to support the students and staff once they returned. An educational assistant who was on the trip was a potential witness, said Gaiptman.

Here is the text of a letter sent to Lord Tweedsmuir elementary school parents by principal Patty Farris Tuesday:

Dear Parents,

Today one of our Kindergarten classes was on a field trip to Science World when there was a shooting in the vicinity. The children were in full “lock down” until the area was deemed safe. The children, staff and parent volunteers arrived safely back to the school and counselling/ debriefing supports have been made available.

We appreciate that events like these may affect siblings of the affected children and other children may also be concerned if they hear about the incident. We want you to be aware of this situation in case your child wants to talk about it. We would recommend that you shelter your children from any media coverage of this event and that you don’t raise the topic of the incident unless your child brings it up. If your child brings up the incident and you feel your child would benefit from talking to our school counsellor, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Patty Farris

Principal

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