Press Releases


MONTREAL, NOVEMBER 15, 2013 – The English Montreal School Board is providing its schools and centres with guidelines to its population in the wake of the powerful typhoon which devastated  cities, towns and fishing villages in the  Philippines, leaving an untold number of deaths


“During the month of November when nature seems to quietly fall asleep and prepare to rest under a  blanket of snow, we are made aware that nature has a distinct way of reminding us of the  unpredictability and uncontrollable devastation which it can, at times, leash upon our human  population,” EMSB Director General Robert Stocker stated in a message sent out to schools and centres.

The city of Tacloban alone may have upwards of  10,000 deaths. There are 630,000 displaced persons, and Vietnam has also met the onslaught of this  storm. The number of deaths, missing persons and injuries is unknown as bodies are strewn along the  streets and shores of the islands.

“Although we, at the EMSB, are miles away from this disaster, we are brought together in this global  world by instant media coverage of this disaster, and our hearts reach out to those families who are  suffering from this natural devastation,” noted Mr. Stocker. “Practically all of our schools have parents and students who are  from the Philippines, and who may be personally affected by this storm.  Following an inexplicable traumatic event of this nature, even if it happens to those far away, each  person is affected in a personal way. Although each person reacts differently, according to his/her  personality and life experiences, there is a wide range of normal feelings and reactions that are  generated by these horrific events. Those who are particularly vulnerable because of previous  traumatic experiences may suffer from post traumatic stress disorder.”

Mr. Stocker said it is important for principals to be aware of the common reactions to trauma/stress and to alert their  staff and community in order to help them to cope with the experience in their unique manner. If  students and/or staff seem to require particular attention, they are urged to contact the professionals (i.e. psychologist, guidance counselor, spiritual community animator, social worker from the CLSC, etc.)  in the school community.

As a way of responding to this destruction,  schools are being reminded that they can organize fund raising activities, and  donations may be made to the Canadian Red Cross, indicating Typhoon Haiyan at 1~OO-418-1111 or  online at: http://www.redcross.caldonate/donate-online/donate-to-the-typhoon-haiyan-fund.   


Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213