School officials speak on Rinelle Harper attack, wish her quick recovery


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Officials at Southeast Collegiate, the school where Rinelle Harper attends, offered their well wishes and a speedy recovery for the Grade 11 student Thursday morning.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/11/2014 (3050 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Officials at Southeast Collegiate, the school where Rinelle Harper attends, offered their well wishes and a speedy recovery for the Grade 11 student Thursday morning.

Sheryl McCorrister, director principal at the south end high school, and lodge manager Will Hudson gave a statement on news that Harper’s assailants, 20-year-old Justin Hudson and an unnamed 17-year-old male, were charged by Winnipeg police in the case.

Harper, a Garden Hill resident who had just finished mid-term exams, was found beaten and lying on the banks of the Assiniboine River late Friday night-early Saturday morning.

The statement is as follows:

“We are relieved to hear that the two males responsible for the attack on both Rinelle and the female victim have been identified and charged. Our counselors have been speaking to staff and students about the horrific assault and will continue to do that in the future. Our student population normally resides outside of Winnipeg and we begin each school year with an orientation process to remind them of the dangers of being in the city. We are going to be going over those dangers with the students (again), reminding them about safety precautions. We’ll be spending the next few weeks going over those.

“In closing, like Rinelle and her family, we’ll be starting the healing process (and) try to come to terms with how something so horrific could happen to someone in our city. We thank the family for keeping updated through this ordeal, as well as the many different organizations that have reached out to us to offer their help and support to our staff and students.

“Our prayers are with Rinelle and her family, as well as other female victims (who) suffered at the hands of these two males.”

Southeast Collegiate is a small collegiate (Grades 10-12) operated by nine Manitoba First Nations. With an enrolment of 137 students, many of the teenagers are from locations around the province and take up residence under the school’s care during the academic year.

The curfew at the collegiate residence is 10 p.m. Students can sign out and go home to be with family, who then assumes responsibility of the teenager. Officials say Harper had signed out to be with her family during the weekend, something that she usually does, and wasn’t under the care of the school at the time of the attack.

The feeling around the school is noticeably melancholy, school administrators said, adding that counsellors and sharing circles have helped both students and staff cope with the events over the weekend.

“It’s kind of a sombre mood right now,” Hudson said. “But students are banding together right now. We went into the school this morning and there’s a big ‘get well’ card for (her), all the students are signing it. They want to see her, they want her to come back.

“Everyone is sticking together fairly strong.”

McCorrister said there is no timetable for Harper’s return to the classroom.


Updated on Thursday, November 13, 2014 11:48 AM CST: Corrects typo

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