Students return to Abbotsford Senior Secondary as community mourns death of Letisha Reimer

Many tributes taking place for teen, including ribbon-tying event on Monday morning

A candlelight vigil in memory of Letisha Reimer was held Friday night outside of Abbotsford Senior Secondary.

The superintendent of the Abbotsford school district said he is “overcome with emotion” at the community’s response following the double stabbing last week at Abbotsford Senior Secondary that resulted in the death of student Letisha Reimer, 13.

Kevin Godden said many churches, community agencies and citizens have offered support.

“You name it, they have done it so far, and I am so grateful for this community stretching its arms out around our kids and families to help heal us. I am truly, truly overwhelmed by that,” he said.

Students returned to the high school on Monday for the first time following the tragedy.

The school was open for half a day, and students returned to the classes they were in when the lockdown first took place.

The Abbotsford school district said the half day allowed students “a chance to gather their belongings, be together and start the healing process.”

Students, staff and members of the community were then invited to tie red and black ribbons in the shape of a heart on the school fence in Reimer’s memory.

In the days since the tragic event, the community has come together in many ways to remember Reimer.

On Friday evening, a candlelight vigil was held outside Abbotsford Senior, where a memorial of flowers, stuffed animals, balloons, cards and messages continues to grow in tribute to the Grade 9 student.

Many people wore red and black – the school’s colours.

A public service was held the following morning at South Abbotsford Church, which Reimer attended.

“Letisha had a deep impact on so many of us as we experienced her love for life, her joy, her energetic personality and her compassion for others,” stated a post on the church’s Facebook page.

The church also posted that a celebration of life for Reimer will be held Saturday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. at Central Heights Church, 1661 McCallum Rd.

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe account set up to assist Reimer’s family with expenses continues to grow and is currently at almost $50,000.

A campaign, called Abby Strong, begins today (Monday) to raise funds for the families of Reimer and her 14-year-old friend (who can’t be named due to a publication ban) who was injured in the stabbing. The project includes the sale of T-shirts and stickers in Abbotsford Senior Secondary’s colours.

T-shirts sell for $25 and stickers are $2 and are available at city hall, Tourism Abbotsford, the UFV bookstore, Field House Brewing Co., Spruce Collective and Highstreet shopping centre. For more information, visit the Abby Strong Facebook page.

A Facebook group called “Be the change” has been set up to “push for better mental health services for those who need it.”

This is in response to concerns that Gabriel Klein, the man accused of killing Reimer and injuring her friend, suffered from mental-health issues, although investigators have not confirmed that.

“As much as it pains me that Letisha died, let’s not let her death be in vain,” wrote Mona Wilhelm, who created the group.

Another Facebook page, “In Loving Memory of Letisha Reimer,” is dedicated to celebrating the teen’s life.

Reimer died on Tuesday, Nov. 1. She had been in the rotunda of Abbotsford Senior Secondary with her friend when a man, who did not know them and had no connection to the school, attacked them with a knife.

The two girls were airlifted to hospital, but Reimer did not survive.

The assailant was subdued by school staff and has been in police custody since.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team announced the following day that Klein, 21, had been charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault.

Abbotsford Senior Secondary was closed for the remainder of the week following the incident. The school district has said that the critical incident response team, including counsellors, will continue to work with students and staff over the coming weeks.

Klein is scheduled to appear in Abbotsford provincial court on Monday morning.

 

Just Posted

Hammond Cedar workers can access retraining funds

Maple Ridge mill workers to be laid off by end of October

Global Climate Strike comes to Maple Ridge

Small group pickets outside city hall

Maple Ridge has new top administrator

Council names new CAO on Thursday

Petition says pot-grow stench led to ‘Summer of Stink’ in Fraser Valley

Province urged to ‘Stop the Smell’ in the Fraser Valley

Maple Ridge Ale Trail combines craft beer and the outdoors

The community launch takes place September 21 at the Haney Farmers Market

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Student arrested at South Delta Secondary for alleged assault

The alleged assault occurred between two SDSS students on Wednesday, Sept. 18

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Most Read