Of course children, parents and teachers talk about the accident of Friday evening at primary school ‘t Bossche Hart on Monday morning. Two students who were still at this school in Bosschenhoofd before the summer holidays were killed. All the children have come to school, says chairman Lex Polman of the Borgesiuss Foundation, which includes the primary school. He calls this first day of school after the summer holidays a ‘bizarre day’.
Some children came in very sad and quiet. Others cheerful, because they were excited for the first day of school and happy to see friends again. This is what the driver saw when he was at the school on Monday morning.
So children react very differently. And that is precisely why he calls it great that the school can immediately offer all children ‘a familiar place’ on Monday. The teachers are alert to ‘where children lock’. According to Polman, they are assisted by a special team from the GGD that offers them support.
A memorial for the two children who died has been set up in a central place in the school. And on Monday, children in different classes will work on making something that will match the photos of the two schoolmates standing there. “Drawings and texts”, Polman explains.
The traffic drama has ‘touched the heart’ of many in the close-knit community that Bosschenhoofd is, according to him. Polman knows that many teachers and other parents belong to the same circle of friends and acquaintances as the two mothers who died together with the two children. He therefore thinks it is extra clever that the team of teachers started to think very practically immediately after the accident on Friday evening.
“They immediately switched to see what they can do for parents, children and also to each other.” They also quickly looked at what the consequences of the tragic event would be for the start of the new school year.
Sunday meeting well attended
They immediately decided that there should be an open walk-in for parents on Sunday. A meeting that was well attended with about a hundred attendees. Not only by parents, but also by children. “Intended to start a conversation with each other and share emotions.”
“No speeches or speeches, but coffee and lemonade. To then have the conversation with each other, share emotions and where possible also answer questions,” explains the school administrator. Questions such as ‘How do you give grief a place?’ and ‘What can you do for children in this regard?’. “Deep shock and support for each other to give this grief a place”, are the words with which Polman describes that meeting.
He refers to his own role as mainly supportive. “Organize help where possible,” he explains. An action mode that he knows by now. “Unfortunately, when you work longer in education, you often have to deal with a child, a parent or a teacher who happens to something very bad. You get used to that action position, but such sadness never gets used,” he emphasizes.
Traffic drama Oud Gastel plunges Bosschenhoofd in mourning: ‘A deep scar’
Two young children and two women died in an accident in Oud Gastel