School shooting threats in Terrace and Kitimat — here’s what we know

Remarks later deemed to be low-risk

Multiple shooting threats reported by Terrace and Kitimat schools have left students, parents and teachers on edge.

Concerning messages were reported on four days between May 7 to May 13 by both Skeena Middle School and Mount Elizabeth Middle Secondary School.

Officials were alerted to the initial incident at Skeena Middle School on May 7, when a shooting threat was written on the boys’ washroom mirror. This prompted the school and CMSD to contact the RCMP and Safer Schools Together (SST) — the school district’s provincial student safety experts. Then on May 10, school district officials were told of another threatening message sent on a social media app in connection to Skeena Middle School.

While this threat was also classified low-risk, RCMP members were nevertheless posted at Skeena Middle School on May 8, 9 and 10.

Then on Sunday, May 12, a concerning message was posted to the Terrace Buy & Sell Facebook page at 3 p.m. from both the Kitimat and Terrace communities.

The next day, Monday, May 13, Mount Elizabeth Middle Secondary School reported a Facebook message regarding a shooting threat. Kitimat RCMP say they have found the person responsible for this remark, and police have determined there was no danger to the public.

READ MORE: School shooting threat posted on Facebook

The threatening message written on Sunday was allegedly posted by a former MEMSS student, the district says. No other individuals have been identified in connection with the other separate remarks.

As the threats emerged Coast Mountains School District superintendent Katherine McIntosh issued multiple statements on CMSD’s website about the threats at MEMSS as well as Skeena Middle School in Terrace throughout the week, most recently on May 13.

“School district officials were immediately informed of this new message, who in turn contacted the RCMP and Safer Schools Together to investigate. Persons of interest are currently being questioned by the RCMP and school district staff,” wrote McIntosh in the latest update.

The school district will be conducting its own investigation into these incidents and has activated its multi-disciplinary Violence Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) process involving the RCMP and other community partners

“This matter continues to be investigated by the RCMP and the school district. Any and all leads are being investigated. The school district takes its own measures and will be conducting its own investigation into these incidents.”

Officers have established a visible presence at both Skeena Middle School and Mount Elizabeth Secondary, though all threats made in the last week were deemed to be low-risk.

McIntosh says school staff and parents were kept informed throughout the week and counsellors were available on May 10 for students. CMSD is also arranging school staff sessions and parent information evening sessions facilitated by the RCMP and SST.

The Teachers Federation of BC’s branch in Terrace also held a meeting on May 13 with teachers to talk about their own health and wellness when dealing with potential threats.

”The school district takes every precaution to ensure the safety of its all students and staff. The safety and well-being of all our students and staff is paramount and events of this nature are taken very seriously,” McIntosh says.

READ MORE: Skeena Middle School threats deemed ‘low-risk’

Investigation continues

Terrace RCMP released a statement on May 13 about their presence at Skeena Middle School and ongoing investigation.

Although they cannot release details, the first remark made on May 7 was “very general in nature and deemed to be low-risk based on the information at the time.”

“Be assured, Terrace RCMP takes the safety of students very seriously,” says Stf. Sgt. Michael Robinson in a press release. “I myself have two kids who attend that school and I remain confident in their safety.”

He adds social media has played a role in perpetuating the problem when the threatening remarks are reposted or modified slightly.

“As adults, we need to talk to our children about what they are saying and posting online. Every time someone reposts or alters and posts something related to the remarks, it distracts police from being able to investigate the initial complaint which created this situation,” he wrote.

The Terrace RCMP continues to investigate and work with Skeena Middle School. No connection has been made between the threats reported by the Terrace school and those reported by MEMSS.


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coast Mountains School District 82kitimatterrace

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A student took 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 photo)

A portion of McIntosh’s statement on the CMSD website.

Just Posted

B.C. police watchdog group investigating after June 1 death of Kitimat man

The man was reported to have fallen a number of times while in police custody on May 30

Skeena MLA advocates for small LNG project in Terrace

Many questions unanswered about project, say opponents

CGL completes first in-field pipeline welds for Kitimat section of project

‘I never thought I’d live to see this day:’ Skeena MLA praises start of pipeline welding in Kitimat

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

Housing committee recommends District deny strata application for 1425 Nalabila Boulevard

Council is set to consider the matter at their June 1 meeting

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine is planning to bring colour to communities

Economic development commission hopes to commission three murals

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

B.C. woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Most Read