Flags at half mast at Hillview Elementary school, and all other Vernon School District facilities, Monday, May 31 in honour of the tragic discovery of the 215 children whose bodies were discovered at the Kamloops Residential School Friday, May 28. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)

Flags at half mast at Hillview Elementary school, and all other Vernon School District facilities, Monday, May 31 in honour of the tragic discovery of the 215 children whose bodies were discovered at the Kamloops Residential School Friday, May 28. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)

‘Burial grounds instead of playgrounds. Heartbreaking’: Vernon School District

Moment of silence, schools flying flags half mast, staff and students wearing orange in honour of Kamloops residential school tragedy

The discovery of the remains of 215 school children in Kamloops has left neighbouring school communities in mourning.

“Burial grounds instead of playgrounds. Heartbreaking,” the Vernon School District said in a release.

To honour the lives of the residential school victims found Friday, May 28, schools across the Okanagan are remembering this week.

Along with flying all flags at half-mast, staff and students have been invited to wear orange.

Schools are also beginning the week with a moment of silence and many are honouring these children in other ways.

For example, Hillview Elementary will be tying 215 orange ribbons to their school fencing.

“We must continue to learn about the history and ongoing impacts of colonialism, and recognize that we have a responsibility to personally and collectively answer the Truth and Reconciliation commission’s calls to action,” School District 22 said.

“The district acknowledges the many staff, students, and families who are deeply and, in some cases, personally affected by this tragedy.”

Supports are available through the following:

• Indian Residential School Survivors 1-800-721-0066

• KUU-US Indigenous crisis line – available 24 hours

– Youth Line 250-723-2040

– Adult Line 250-723-4050

•Residential School Crisis line – available 24 hours 1-866-925-4419

READ MORE: Central Okanagan schools lower flags in honour of Kamloops residential school victims

READ MORE: Devastation over discovery at Kamloops residential school felt deeply throughout the Shuswap


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The former Kamloops Indian Residential School is seen on Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation in Kamloops, B.C. on Thursday, May 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Snucins