For immediate release July 18, 2006
From: NZEI Te Riu Roa Media Release
NZEI mourns loss of teacher and member
NZEI mourns the loss of its long-time member Lois Dear, found murdered in a Tokoroa classroom on Sunday.
Lois had been a member of the New Zealand Educational Institute for over 17 years. Colleagues described the new entrant teacher as both friendly and dedicated to her students.
"We send our deepest condolences to Lois' family, school and community," says NZEI National President Irene Cooper.
"To have such a thing happen while Lois was giving up her own time to help the students she loved is to heap tragedy upon tragedy."
While no one expects this sort of thing to happen, it is a timely reminder of the need to take precautions around teacher safety, says Irene. With the vast majority of teachers working on site after hours and during term breaks, schools should review and discuss safety measures currently in place.
NZEI is confident that, through the coordinated support from across the sector, Strathmore School will be able to overcome this hardship. NZEI acknowledges the skilled work of the MOE trauma team in supporting schools through such tragedies and the necessary ongoing support of counsellors over the medium term.
"No one should underestimate the impact such a tragedy has on a community its teachers and the children of the school * an impact that lasts well beyond the head lines in the paper," says Irene