DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — School District 59 officials say that students being overheard on a city bus making off-colour comments about the shooting at a Parkland, Florida school two months ago led to a Hold and Secure being initiated at both Dawson Creek Secondary School campuses this morning.
SD 59’s Director of Instruction Mark Readman said that the RCMP brought a possible threat against the DCSS South Peace campus earlier this morning, causing a Hold and Secure to be initiated at 9:00. A Hold and Secure was also initiated at the Central Campus at around 9:30, after police said the threat could have possibly extended to that school. Both the Hold and Secures were lifted by 10:30.
Readman said the situation the morning stems from an incident several weeks ago when several youth were overheard on public transit making off-colour comments while discussing the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in February. He explained that the RCMP were informed and spoke with the youth involved, who found that there was no threat involved.
On Tuesday, local youth were again overheard on public transit discussing the Parkland shooting and reported the conversation to police, seeing it as a threat to the school. Readman explained that the initial threat was believed by the RCMP to have been directed at the South Peace campus, where they learned that another student at Central Campus may have also been involved. After speaking to students, police learned again that there was no threat to the two schools.
Readman explained that School District officials encourage students to have discussions about current events, and that sometimes the students may use humour to diffuse their anger or angst about certain events that affect them. He said that those comments can sometimes be taken out of context. However, Readman added that the School District does not take any possible threat lightly, leading to the Hold and Secure being implemented.