(Photo: Jean Gagnon)

Dawson College marks 10th anniversary of shooting

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Dawson College marks 10th anniversary of shooting

By Shuyee Lee

(Original article: CJAD.com.  September 12, 2016)

It was ten years ago that a gunman walked into the downtown CEGEP and started shooting. One student, 18-year-old Anastasia De Sousa died and 19 others were injured. The gunman also died.

Richard Filion remembers running towards the sound of gunfire that day.

“I would say chaos, chaos, chaos,” said the school’s director general as he recalled that day in 2006.

“It’s a kind of a hyper reality.”

Filion said it’s ironic that their Peace Education program came out of such violence, prompting the school to focus on leading students down the path of peace with programs focused on mediation and conflict resolution.

“Through various means, we’re basically committed to promote this kind of education where values of respect, values of collaboration, values of re-connecting with nature, re-connecting with others, re-connecting with oneself, are seen as the primary values we want to promote in education patterns,” said Filion in an interview with CJAD 800 News.

“We’re here to help the young generation to get the tools in order to be responsible citizens in a world that is very turbulent.”

Apart from extra security guards and surveillance cameras and an improved communications system, Dawson remains an open setting.

“I made it clear by saying by no means we will turn this college into a fortress,” said Filion.

“We didn’t want and we are still pretty strongly convinced that it goes against our basic mission.”

Filion said this tenth anniversary commemoration sends a strong message.

“This community has been very resilient in rising above the shock that was created by the assault that happen on September, 13, 2006.”

Dawson College is holding a remembrance ceremony tomorrow and other activities this week to promote peace and non-violence.

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