De Kiem Primary School in Ruddervoorde will never be the same again. The deaths of Maude, 8, and Una, 5, who were murdered by their father last week, have left deep wounds for the school team and students. Teachers say, “We want to give our students a sense of security now.”
Miss Lotte Allard (25) and Miss Rita Vandebroek (59) ran a heavy task last Thursday to inform the children of Grade 3, Maud’s class, about what happened the day before. “A very difficult task, because you yourself feel very sad and have to keep your strength for your classmates,” Miss Lotte tells the story of the hardest week of her life.
At first, we limited ourselves to facts and gave students the opportunity to respond to them. We gave them space to hug, draw and ask questions. Remember together, we looked at photos of the last sea lessons … I also gave the children the opportunity to put something personal on Maud’s sofa. These items will remain there until the end of the school year. I saw that my students needed this. Maud will forever be 21st – her grade in the class.”
“As a young mother, I notice that I am now holding my son more. Something has changed in me. I hope from the bottom of my heart that I never have to go through this again, because dealing with this, with my colleagues and students, is very difficult… (Silence) Children ask questions that would be difficult for anyone to answer at the time. As a teacher, you have to answer them in a way that the kids will understand, without wanting to explain everything in a childish way.”
You need to cuddle
Miss Rita is still having a hard time with what happened. “Now I am a grandmother and I notice that I tend to keep my grandchildren close to me. I completely agree with Miss Lott. Suddenly a child comes up to us to grab us or hug us. We see that this moment is very important for the child and we are happy to allow it. Now we especially want to give our students a sense of security, let go Children grieve and we surround them with lots of warmth and safety.”
De Kiem Primary School has changed forever since last week. There is De Kiem before and De Kiem after. “The deaths of Maud and Una will remain forever in our school. But the students will also remember Maud for the rest of their lives, who was murdered by her father.”
The school is currently looking at how Maud and Una can be given a permanent place within the school, after all statements of support have been sent to the family. One thing is for sure: both girls will never be forgotten, and will be forever associated with De Kiem Primary School.
Everyone praises the school’s quiet approach, especially for something you can never be prepared for. “We are also very grateful for the great support we have received from other schools, parents and external services such as Berrefonds, CLB and the Het Houtsche police district,” says Principal Machteld Van Asbroeck.
“This helped us deal with hard realities in a valuable way and focus fully on the grief that was present in our school. It also helped our team put everything in its own place, despite the disbelief and the many questions that remain unanswered and will probably never be answered.” .”
Today, Friday 25 November, the girls’ funeral will take place from 10am at St Eligius’ Church in Rudderford. At the express request of Una and Maud’s mother, all classmates are invited to the service. To give the team of teachers the opportunity to attend the funeral, a team from Karel De Goede’s school group will be present at the school to greet the other classes. In the afternoon, the school, in collaboration with the Parent Council, will put up a large waffle box in honor of Maude and Una, who loved to bake waffles themselves. All students and their parents are invited to this memorial.
Maud and Una’s mother also asks not to bring flowers, but to express sympathy and support by making a donation to Child Focus account number BE19310122299912, with the mention “In memory of Maud and Una.”