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St. Albert Public Schools activates crisis response after teen's death

Counsellors are on hand for students and staff at Hillgrove and Lorne Akins schools following the death of Grade 9 student

St. Albert Public Schools has activated its mental health crisis response team at Lorne Akins Junior High and Hillgrove School following the death of Grade 9 student Broden Radomske, who was killed in an attack in Edmonton on Tuesday.

“The focus is on supporting our students and the family in whatever way we can,” said Paula Power, communications manager with the St. Albert Public School division.

Mental health professionals from across the school division will be available for any student of staff member at Lorne Akins or Hillgrove who needs to talk to someone.

“It’s just really about making kids aware of what’s going on, and then helping them understand that whatever they’re feeling, it’s okay,” Power said. “They’re going to feel all sorts of things, and there is help for them to work through all of that.”

School staff will reach out to students who may be struggling but have not come forward to speak with a counsellor. The extra support from mental health professionals will be available at both schools as long as there is a need for it, Powers said.

Classes at the schools have not been interrupted, but students can leave class to speak to a counsellor.

Both Lorne Akins and Hillgrove School communities are “devastated,” Power said.

“It’s really hard for kids to imagine that one of their peers could pass away,” she said.

Power heard from staff at both schools that Radomske had a wide friend group and loved to play hockey and basketball.

Radomske was well-liked by both students and staff, she said.

“One of the assistant principals said to me that he had this sparkle in his eye,” she said. “He was just that kind of young man that was engaging and that people like to be around. He had a great sense of humour and a great group of friends, and I think they're going to be missing him for a long time.”

Radomske was attacked near 137 Avenue and 184 Street in Edmonton at around 9:30 p.m on Tuesday.

He walking with his mother and his pit bull when the assailant, whom the pair were familiar with, allegedly stabbed the boy in the neck, according to the Edmonton Journal.

Edmonton homicide detectives are investigating the death, and a man who was arrested shortly after a call was made to police was charged this afternoon with Radomske's death. Edmonton police have identified the man as 40-year-old Keith James Landry, and he has been charged with second degree murder.

Radomske died on the scene after paramedics and police attempted to save his life.

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