Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut April 06, 2018 - 10:30 am

Vandals trash Nunavut school, steal money, equipment over Easter

Suspects take video surveillance equipment to remove evidence

Rachel Arngnammaktiq Elementary School in Baker Lake, where vandals broke multiple windows and doors, stole $1,000 in cash and took video surveillance equipment. (GOOGLE IMAGES)
Rachel Arngnammaktiq Elementary School in Baker Lake, where vandals broke multiple windows and doors, stole $1,000 in cash and took video surveillance equipment. (GOOGLE IMAGES)

The RCMP believe that one or two people are behind a break-in at the Rachel Arngnammaktiq Elementary School in Baker Lake over the Easter long weekend, when someone broke doors and windows, stole about $1,000 in cash, and took video surveillance equipment, Cpl. Henry Coman of the Nunavut RCMP “V” Division said yesterday.

Because of the vandalism, the school closed temporarily.

Coman said the break-in occurred some time between March 31 and April 2, when school staff and students were away.

About 10 windows and 10 doors were damaged during the break-in, and roughly $1,000 was stolen from a safe, the RCMP said.

The suspects also removed the school’s video surveillance equipment, so no video of the break-in is available to investigators.

“Based on the evidence at the scene, RCMP believes one or two people were involved in this incident,” Coman told Nunatsiaq News on Thursday, April 5.

The break-in was discovered by the school’s principal when she arrived at school on the morning of April 3.

About 250 of the school’s kindergarten to Grade 5 students were told to stay home April 4, but were allowed to return the following day for regular classes.

The executive director of Kivalliq School Operations, Bill Cooper, said he credits the school’s staff for the quick turnaround, after they cleaned up the damage following a Wednesday staff meeting.

“The staff wanted to engage, role up their sleeves and get things back to normal. Staff came together to get this building back in a state where the students… may not have noticed anything different,” Cooper said.

Cooper said most of the damage took place in the school’s administrative areas.

But the vandals also broke into the school’s gym, kitchen and three classrooms, strewing large amounts of broken glass across the floors.

“Although the damage was very traumatic and upsetting, it could have been a lot worse, and it’s been made better by the efforts of that school,” Cooper said.

Custodial staff from Baker Lake’s Jonah Amitnaaq Secondary School volunteered their time, and a heavy-duty floor vacuum, to help the elementary school staff clean the broken glass quickly.

“It’s a good example of cooperation, from all levels of the community,” Cooper said.

No suspects have been named yet in connection with the break-in, and police said their investigation continues.

Two of the school’s three damaged classrooms were operating by the time students returned to class on April 5, Cooper said, they used additional space inside the school to make up for the remaining damaged classroom.

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(12) Comments:

#1. Posted by Free on April 06, 2018

Security systems that sense motion, opening doors and can make phone calls are a wonder… they can do that even when staff are away.
Hopefully someday the Nunavut government will become aware of them

#2. Posted by Kids! on April 06, 2018

Why in the hel* do kids trash their schools in Nunavut.

This does NOT occur elsewhere in the numbers it does here.

Parents, teach your kids that when a school is damaged it affects everyone’s learning, not just their own.

We keep having to replace or fix schools and that does not leave much money for the things we still need to build in Nunavut.

#3. Posted by Paul Murphy on April 06, 2018

# 2.  Not sure in the article it says “kids”. It just as easily could have been adults.

#4. Posted by Uncle Bob on April 06, 2018

So sad to see a couple of morons trying to bring others down to their low intellect level

#5. Posted by Jobi on April 06, 2018

#3. When NN updates story and says it was kids will u say ‘u were right #2’. Hehe.

#6. Posted by Colin on April 06, 2018

Kids trash schools because what they deliver is irrelevant and so boring that it drains hope, and they’re right.

When I was the advisor on education for an inquiry into conditions in northern Ontario, we asked these questions: Should we deliver education for the modern world? Should we deliver education for life on a remote northern lake? Or should we combine these objectives? And, if we aim to combine them, do you think we can do that successfully?

Overwhelmingly, Indians said they wanted education for both objectives, and they were emphatic that it would work. That’s also what the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child requires anyway.

But government, leaders and educators at all levels in arctic and subarctic Canada work at preventing inspiration and empowerment that would put themselves out of a job.

#7. Posted by Line 'em up on April 07, 2018

We still practice ‘education’ like they did in the Bible - they lined them up in the tabernacle and talked at them…how come we breed such dependency and student isolation?

After we line ‘em up we then become strict police - not letting anyone talk to each other, not share their own ideas and breed discomfort and a need to get away from such imposed rigidity.

This is very wearying for learners yet we haven’t changed our methods in over 3,000 years!  Why?

Most Indigenous folks are what we say in Adult Education, “Field-dependent Learners”. They need to have it spelled out in steps and wait to find out what to do next.

I, myself am a “Field non-dependent learner - a person who just goes out and doesn’t wait for the next process or instruction or fact - I can find that out myself.

When an Instructor realizes their own learning method (mostly Field non-dependent) is not what the faces in front of him or her are, they will become much better at information and knowledge delivery

#8. Posted by Be Alive! on April 07, 2018

Poster # 6 I hear you.

Even sitting on a DEA we were swamped with ‘admnistrivia’ trying to decide on things that had nothing to do with your more important questions.

Suspensions, damage, lot development - this is the level of discourse instead of standing back and deciding on the far more important stuff.

Pencils, how much to pay the guy taking kids out, school holidays - this could all be done by a competent administrator - we need to move past this level and have guaranteed time on every DEA Agenda to talk about the big questions - that is why we were elected!

#9. Posted by iThink on April 07, 2018

#6 Your comment is interesting and enlightening, up to the last sentence.

“government, leaders and educators at all levels in arctic and subarctic Canada work at preventing inspiration and empowerment that would put themselves out of a job.”

As a former educator in the north I find this comment very hard to believe, not to mention insulting to people who do educate.

Personally there would be nothing greater to me than to see one of my students eventually succeed me. I am sure I am not alone in that sentiment.

Perhaps you are just grinding an axe? What do you say?

#10. Posted by Colin on April 08, 2018

Inuit children should become the professionals and managers in their own land—in one generation.

Children should learn to read and write by the age of six at the latest—Maria Montessori achieved that by the age of five in the slums of Naples in the 1890s.

Catch-up education requires a longer school day, and a longer school year—including traditional skills instruction.

It requires intensive sports and recreation. One template is the former Inuvik cross-country ski program that provided the core of Canada’s team for three consecutive Olympic Games.

Essential reading for educators includes There Are No Shortcuts: How an inner-city teacher—winner of the American Award—inspires his students and challenges us to rethink the way we educate our children, by Rafe Esquith; and Chance to Make History, by Wendy Kopp (Founder of Teach for America)

Education in Nunavut fails because of: lack of intensiveness; reading and writing English introduced too late; social promotion.

#11. Posted by Northern Guy on April 09, 2018

#6 (Colin) no one working with Indigenous communities over the past 20 years has referred to First Nations peoples as “Indians”. It is a pejorative term that has gone the way of the dinosaur. I suspect you are likely someone who once worked in an outdated system but no longer has a relevant or modern perspective on the issue.

#12. Posted by Evelyn Thordarson on April 09, 2018

Nothing in the story refers to ’ kids ’ that broke into the school.In my day all kids lined up to enter the school the bell was rung we lined up .There was no talking this had nothing to do with the bible. It sounds like an inside job I mean knowing there was that much money in the school office and ‘kids’ would never think to steal the surveillance equipment. Never fear the RCMP will get these hooligans they will be charged and when it goes to court the case will remanded many times then perhaps just a slap on the wrist. Because they will be providers for their families.

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