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

Mother’s death causes singer to cancel Surrey Fusion Festival performance

Revised schedule released with Mankirt Aulakh replacing Sharry Mann

New day camp for Surrey children living with cancer, blood disorders

West Coast Kids Cancer Foundation running another session at Surrey school

Cars keyed on BC Ferries after alarms bother dog on board

Delta police arrested one passenger on suspicion of mischief

TONIGHT: Eagle Eyes to headline Concerts for the Pier in White Rock

East Beach event to feature The Fab Fourever

Toilet, bathtub among junk dumped behind Scott Road thrift store, costing operators money

‘I wish people would appreciate what we do, and not dump their stuff,’ frustrated manager says

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Two toddler siblings found drowned on First Nation in Alberta

The siblings were found drowned on their family’s property, according to RCMP

Most Read