Reflections on the New Zealand Attacks
Students are encouraged to talk and write about the tragedy
An Australian cartoonist reimagined New Zealand’s national floral emblem in memory of the Muslims slain in the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch.
The country’s Silver Fern here represents each person killed by the gunman.
Our school community was deeply moved by the events.
Here are some comments from our students:
“I think the shooting was a very upsetting tragedy. 50 innocent lives lost is very heart-breaking. The people praying on the leaf shows that we are all equal no matter what religion you are, and we shouldn’t have to fear being attacked based on our personal beliefs. We should treat everybody with the same respect. It also shows that in New Zealand and everywhere, everybody is welcome. During a time like this, we must stand up for what’s right and come together as a society. We are all people, and nobody was born discriminating against others. It might just seem like 50 random people you don’t know, but put yourself in their families’ shoes. They are not just another statistic. "
"I am a twelve year old girl, halfway through Year 7. I’m sure there are many others like me around the world. However none just like me as I am special. Everyone is special and everyone is different from each other. Difference is never something anyone should be wronged for or be discriminated for. This is why I believe that what happened in New Zealand on the 15th March, just because no one is the same was a disgusting, horrible act. This piece of artwork is a memorial to show 50 lives were taken. Taken by hatred that shouldn’t exist. Many people are probably reading this and agreeing with what I have written but aren’t doing anything about it. Just sitting, reading, and agreeing. And I know that a paragraph might not be a lot but it is something. Something that I hope will change people’s opinions, thoughts and ideas about difference being bad because it isn’t true. It is the beauty of this world."
"I believe that the shootings in New Zealand show how much progress still needs to be made in the world as a whole. Some people might say we’ve come so far since World war one and two, but we need to take into consideration the fact that innocent people are still killed because of their race and religion, and this fact haunts me every day. The silver fern is a perfect way of bringing the families and people affected respect and peace. We’re all deeply affected and hope one day this won’t be something we need to write about."
"I feel that it is important to try and take something as terrible as the New Zealand terrorist attack and try and create something peaceful that carries a message to help prevent something like this ever happening again. The emblem to me is the artist using tragic event to try and campaign against extremism and also doing his part to make sure the victims rest in peace."
"It’s hard sometimes to think about tragedies like this, especially when they have taken place far away to people you don’t know. It takes courage to think that it has actually happened to actual people with actual lives but that courage is exactly what we need as a society right now."
"I used to live near New Zealand so I heard about it all the time. It is such a peaceful and beautiful country. To hear that something like this has happened is devastating. When I found out that the gunman was Australian born I was almost disappointed. I am Australian and we do not usually hear about things like this. The painting that the Australian cartoon artist has done is very meaningful and beautiful. I love how he has represented all of the people killed and how they are praying in different ways. This incident has affected the whole world and I hope that everyone has realised that doing this is an absolutely terrible thing. Although many people believe that a number of deaths is just a statistic they are wrong. Each and every one of those people killed had a home, family and a life. They are all worthy of existence."
And a wonderful poem too: