Three Terrace RCMP squadron cars were monitoring Skeena Middle School grounds Friday afternoon after reports of a shooting threat were made earlier this week. (Brittany Gervais photo)

Skeena Middle School threats deemed ‘low-risk’

Police, school staff investigating two incidents this week

Skeena Middle School officials and Terrace RCMP are investigating two threats made at Skeena Middle School this week.

The situation doesn’t appear threatening as students have not been evacuated, however police are treating the matter seriously with a visible presence and patrols on school grounds from May 8-10.

An investigation was launched with RCMP in consultation with provincial student safety experts, who determined both threats were low-risk.

On May 7, a written message reading ‘School shooting Thursday or Friday’ was written on the mirror of the boys’ bathroom, alerting administrative staff to the possible threat.

A letter from principal Phillip Barron was sent home with students detailing the school’s response.

“We immediately activated our multidisciplinary violence threat risk assessment process, which involves police and other key community partners,” wrote Barron in the letter.

“The threat was determined to be low risk and steps were immediately taken to address the concern and ensure appropriate supports were in place for all concerned.”

Barron went on to assure parents that all staff and students are safe, and they are taking “every precaution to ensure the safety of our students and staff and we take any reported act of violence very seriously.”

Then in the early hours of May 10, school district officials were informed of an additional message sent on a social media app. It was reported to RCMP, who incorporated the information into their ongoing investigation, and was also determined to be a low-risk incident.

Terrace RCMP will continue to work with school administrators as they respond to the threat.

Coast Mountains School District 82 issued a press release about both incidents late afternoon on May 10 and will be conducting its own investigation.

“The school district takes every precaution to ensure the safety of its 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,” wrote CMSD 82 superintendent Katherine McIntosh in the letter.

Parents took to social media to voice their concerns, with some deciding to keep their children home Friday despite the school’s decision to keep its doors open.

Another concerned parent wrote these assurances were given too late.

The school and district are asking parents to contact the school administration if they have any further questions or concerns about the reported threat.


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

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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 photo of the letter sent to parents from Skeena Middle School principal Phillip Barron assuring them their children were safe and administrative staff are working closely with Terrace RCMP in response to the threat. (Facebook photo)

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