St. John's high school rallies behind victim of violent attack, thanks community for support

·3 min read
Students of Prince of Wales Collegiate in St. John's give a standing ovation to show support for their classmate.  (Mike Moore/CBC - image credit)
Students of Prince of Wales Collegiate in St. John's give a standing ovation to show support for their classmate. (Mike Moore/CBC - image credit)
Mike Moore/CBC
Mike Moore/CBC

Students, faculty, staff and invited guests rallied at Prince of Wales Collegiate on Friday in support of a 16-year-old student who was the victim of a violent attack on school property two weeks ago.

The March 9 attack gripped the province, and hundreds of people have stepped forward to offer support for the community, the victim and his family.

Some of those people, including police and paramedics — and support animals — sat on the stage in the high school's gymnasium Friday, along with the boy and his parents.

"We have had a traumatic event in the last two weeks and we are in the process of recovering and healing," principal Carla Roberts said after the assembly.

"We also felt that we needed to gather together.… We're very grateful for the support that we've had in this community, not just our school community but the greater community of Newfoundland and Labrador that has reached out in some way to let us know that they care."

Roberts said the event was also about thanking the first responders who were on the scene that day, the hospital staff who helped the boy recover and the support groups who have stuck with the school the whole way through.

"It's a great school with great students and staff. We're really excited about moving forward and we just needed to take that time to say thank you to everybody for what they've done for us," she said.

Mike Moore/CBC
Mike Moore/CBC

Student council president Thomas Avery said Friday was a special day that marked the victories of some of the school's sports teams, but was also a step forward in rebuilding school spirit after the violent assault earlier in March.

"I think a lot of people really struggled and had a lot of emotions with recent events here at PWC," said Avery, a Grade 12 student.

"It's really important that we rebuild our community and talk about our togetherness and spirit here."

Avery said the rally's turnout was overwhelming, adding he was excited to have everybody together again.

Three teens between 14 and 16 years old, along with 18-year-old Tyler Greening, are facing attempted murder charges related to the attack.

CBC News cannot identify the victim or those charged who are under 18 years old because of a publication ban.

Mike Moore/CBC
Mike Moore/CBC
Zach Goudie/CBC
Zach Goudie/CBC

After thanking those who stood along side the school while it worked through the traumatic event, Friday's rally ramped up the school spirit.

Roberts donned a costume in a surprise reveal for students to have their first glimpse at the school's new mascot.

"We have been saving our funds and our recycling program has been fantastic. We've been using those funds along with some others to actually order and finally get a real PWC Cavaliers mascot," she said.

"Today we thought, what better time just to let others see what goes on here at PWC and how much spirit we have and community?… What better day to do it? In light of everything that has happened in the last two weeks, now we can just close it off."

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