WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC4) – Two weeks after the deadly shooting near Hunter High School in West Valley City, students at the school are getting a lesson on healing and grief. It’s an effort to help students cope with the recent deadly shooting outside their school targeting several Polynesian students.
PIK2AR, also known as the Pacific Island Knowledge to Action Resources, says its mission is to create a dialogue with the students about violence prevention measures.
Thursday morning’s presentation focused on cultural relevance and creating dialogue among Pacific Islander students. The presentation was held in what’s called the “p-o-p class” which stands for People of Polynesia.
ABC4 spoke with Oreta Tupola of PIK2AR, who said the organization met with about 12 students about how important communication is in working towards eliminating youth violence.
“So we told our own personal stories so they could some type of relevance in and why we were there and once we did they opened up to us,” Tupola said.
Tupola said many of the students are dealing with grief and distrust. She stressed that PIK2AR has to first establish trust in the students, so they feel empowered to speak up.
While today’s presentation was not directly sponsored or in conjunction with the Granite School District, spokesperson Ben Horsley tells ABC4 that the school is working with a variety of community groups to help students of all backgrounds heal following the recent tragedy. Horsley said more events like this are in the works for the near future.