Parents were quick to comment about My Timmins Now Dot Com online coverage of the evacuations this morning, wondering why that’s how they had to learn about it.

District School Board Ontario Northeast director of education Lesleigh Dye is unapologietic.

“First and foremost,” she remarks, “we always make sure that our students and our staff are safe.”

One of the two schools involved – Schumacher Public – is operated by that board.

Lesleigh Dye

Dye says current procedure is a letter to families at the end of the day, notifying them of what went on.

If any child is harmed physically, the family is immediately contacted.

Emotional harm, however, is very difficult to measure, Dye notes.

“If we had a child who was visibly in distress—crying or maybe very withdrawn – we would certainly reach out to the family.”

She reiterates that the priority is making sure that students and staff are safe.

“A school principal and in fact our superintendent was also present,” she states. “ They’re working at ensuring that the school’s been clearly evacuated and that everyone is safe outside.”