Auckland Muslim schools explain terror attack to children

Students from two different Muslim schools in Auckland have been spoken to by officials following Friday's attacks. 

Counsellors along with support stuff are helping the 700 students of Zayed College for Girls and Al-Madinah School in Mangere deal with the weekend's trauma. 

It was a start to the school day like no other for the students. Armed police officers guarding the school gates - it's a reality that's hard to face in New Zealand. 

Zayed Principal Regina Rasheed had the task of explaining what happened on Friday to students of the Mangere schools.

"We feel it's really, really important that they're back into the teaching and learning, that what has happened doesn't make their lives more unsettled, that school is normal," says Rasheed. 

That new "normal", however, involved protection from armed guards. 

Rasheed says her students need it. 

"The girls are secondary and intermediate so they're more understanding than the little ones, so we just need to tell them they need to be there to protect us."  

Rasheed says she wants her students to know there's nothing wrong with who they are.  

"It is scary... I even find it scary myself so I can only imagine what the kids are feeling. But again the day is all about enforcing the support to the girls so they feel comfortable and safe." 

And perhaps surprisingly for some Kiwis, today was also about forgiveness for the man responsible. 

Zayed proprietor Aiyub Khan says there needs to be good that comes out of this. 

"Islam teaches us if they doing something bad to you, you return it with good and your vowed enemy becomes your Muslim friend," says Khan.  

It wasn't a typical day at school and hopefully a short-lived new normal - for the students of Al Zayed College. 


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