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Getting Back to a “New Normal”: Grief Leadership After a Fatal School Shooting

Getting Back to a “New Normal”: Grief Leadership After a Fatal School Shooting
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Author(s): Rosemary C. Reilly (Concordia University, Canada) and Linda Kay (Concordia University, Canada)
Copyright: 2022
Pages: 27
Source title: Impact of School Shootings on Classroom Culture, Curriculum, and Learning
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Gordon A. Crews (The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5200-1.ch007

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Abstract

Violence in educational institutions compounds and accumulates in our collective memory, as school shootings have become a ubiquitous phenomenon. When a young man carrying three guns entered Dawson College in Montréal, the downtown core came to a standstill. As bullets sprayed and ricocheted, one young woman was killed, 19 others wounded, and a community of 10,000 students, teachers, and staff were traumatized. This research employed a qualitative methodology, interviewing 10 senior administrators and managers in-depth. Findings document the salient role grief leadership played in restoring balance and an educational focus in the wake of a shooting on campus and served to reshape the community into one of learning, resilience, and courage. It details specific actions taken by administrators, which promoted healing and re-established equilibrium at a site of grief, loss, and terror. Administrative responses proved essential in helping to re-establish thriving at Dawson College.

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