A student takes a photo of the message that was written on a mirror inside the boys’ bathroom at Skeena Middle School. It reads, ‘School shooting Thursday or Friday.’ (Facebook)

Sooke Mounties continue probe into high school hold and secure

No charges yet from last week’s incident

The social media posts that resulted in Sooke’s Edward Milne Community School declaring a hold and secure Nov. 7 is still under investigation, RCMP say.

A suspect linked to the incident was arrested and later released. No charges were laid.

“Everyone should know that we take school threats very seriously and, through an abundance of caution, we will always act to ensure the safety of students, staff and others,” Cpl. Chris Manseau said.

And even though the perceived threat may turn out to be nothing, Manseau said anyone who has observed something that may represent a threat to a school should contact police immediately.

“Let us know and we’ll investigate and act appropriately,” Manseau said.

RELATED: RCMP appeal for real info

Unfortunately, the frequency of perceived threats against schools appears to be on the rise.

In May, a shooting threat scrawled on a bathroom mirror and subsequent social media posts in Terrace, B.C. had teachers at Skeena Middle School complaining of what they saw as an inappropriate response by their school board when RCMP were not immediately called.

In June, two men were arrested in Surrey when they were seen as a threat to Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary School, which was also placed in a hold and secure status. The firearms they had were Air-Soft pistols.

RELATED: shutdown in Surrey

“Times have changed and school shootings such as [Columbine High School massacre] showed that information was available but never coalesced into providing the necessary warnings,” Scott Stinson, Sooke School District superintendent, said.

“The school system has had to adapt to be able to assess the validity of threats. We have staff who work closely with RCMP and a lot happens behind the scenes that doesn’t result in a lockdown or hold and secure.”

Stinson said it’s unfortunate that the world has reached this state of affairs, but added the school district is determined to ensure that its schools remain a safe and welcoming space for students.

“We already lock all the doors of elementary schools except the front door so we can keep track of who is coming into the school,” Stinson said.

“But we’re a long way from the American system of totally locked schools, metal detectors, and security on site. I hope we never get to that point.”



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

•••

Lockdown vs. hold and release

A hold and secure occurs when there’s a threat in the general vicinity of a school, but not on, or very close to school property.

A lockdown is a more extreme procedure, when a threat is near or inside a school.

Just Posted

Night construction means closures for Interurban Road

Traffic interruptions at Interurban Road near Wilkinson Road from Dec. 9 to 20

Decision on Victoria’s bid for 2022 Invictus Games expected next month

Greater Victoria is competing against Germany’s Düsseldorf to host the games

UPDATED: Man arrested on Richmond Avenue after standoff with police following ‘serious assault’

Police were called early Sunday morning following an assault in the building

Land sale could threaten Shirley’s water supply: officials

Sale will allow for the subdivision and development of forestry lands

‘Kind of lacking:’ Injured Bronco wonders why Canada won’t fund spinal surgery

“I think if Canada can step in and advance this program”

Vancouver Island blues musician’s mother’s home burglarized and ransacked

David Gogo’s 71-year-old mother has jewelry and artwork stolen in break-in

Dance cancelled after Alberta teacher’s climate lesson prompts online threats

School district near Red Deer cancelled annual family dance due to Facebook comments

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

In surprise move, defence won’t call witnesses for accused in Abbotsford school killing

‘Change of instructions’ results in defence closing case without calling evidence

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

74% of 911 calls are from cellphones, so know your location: E-Comm

Cell tower triangulation generally only narrows location down to the block someone is calling from

No negligence in RCMP actions in B.C. teen’s overdose death: Watchdog

Police acted properly when they responded to the first reports of the boy being in distress

Would you leave your baby alone to go to the gym? This Canadian dad did

The man identifies just as a divorced dad with a nine-month-old baby

Most Read