QUEBEC—Many of the children whose fathers died or were wounded in last week’s mosque shooting have returned to class, says a psychologist with a Quebec City school board.
In one board alone, eight students lost a dad, two lost an uncle, while the fathers of four were injured, Marie-Joel Sinclair said in an interview Thursday.
She added that six additional students in the school board were inside the mosque last Sunday night when the shooter entered.
“The majority of our kids are back in school,” Sinclair said. “Some are waiting until Monday.”
Thirty-five kids from Ecole Notre-Dame-de-Foy, roughly 60 metres from the mosque in Quebec City’s Sainte-Foy district, were absent from class last Monday.
In that school 40 per cent of the students are Muslim, said school board spokesman Alain Vezina.
None of them had fathers who were shot or killed in the mosque, but many of the kids live near the school and heard the shots and saw the police intervention, he said.
“The children said they fled violence in their home countries and asked how the same kind of thing can happen here,” Vezina said.
Money is also being raised from across the country to help the children of the six men who were murdered at the mosque.
Reyhana Patel of Islamic Relief Canada says her organization has raised more than $100,000 since Monday, with the money to be distributed to the families affected by the tragedy.
“We knew some of the people who were shot,” she said. “We had to do something. And the support has been overwhelming. It took just a few days and it’s been incredible.”
Originally, the fundraising campaign was supposed to cover the funeral and mosque-repair costs, but Patel said a Toronto-based businessman offered this week to pay for that.
Now the full $100,000 will go to the families.
“In the next few weeks or so we’ll sit down with the families to see who needs what,” Patel said. “And do we do college funds for the kids, we’re not sure yet. We’ll wait for those discussions to be had.”
Mosque vice-president Mohamed Labidi says the six victims, aged between 39 and 60, left behind 17 children.
Yangui said he and others at the mosque “will act as fathers, brothers and sisters to the orphans.”
Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, was arrested Sunday night following the massacre in which 19 people were also wounded. He has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder and five of attempted murder.