Threats force lockdowns at four B.C. schools Monday
As parents across North America continued to reel in the wake of last week’s tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn., police put four B.C. schools on lockdown Monday due to threats to student safety.
Three of the affected schools are located in New Hazelton, a northern Interior community of fewer than 1,000 residents, while the fourth is situated in East Vancouver near Boundary Road.
Vancouver police put the latter, Thunderbird Elementary School, on lockdown after receiving reports of a violent threat at around 10 a.m. Monday.
Few details about the threat have been revealed, but Sgt. Randy Fincham said it was discovered by a third party. It’s unclear whether it was overheard in person or on social media.
Fincham said the lockdown was ordered in an abundance of caution.
“With what happened in the states last week, we’ve seen that this can happen at various places regardless of the age of the school,” Fincham told reporters. “We will continue to respond in this manner to ensure the safety of everybody involved.”
The roughly 330-student school was put on a Code Yellow lockdown, which meant that classrooms were left open but the building’s entrances were locked for the duration of the school day.
The children were allowed to leave at their regular time, but police kept a presence at the school until the last teachers went home.
The three schools in New Hazelton were put on lockdown after police found a sign in the community containing threats they considered “very concerning to public safety.”
The two elementary schools and one high school were first put on lockdown and eventually closed for the day.
Mounties say a local man has already been arrested in connection with the incident and charged with uttering threats. The suspect is known to police.
All four schools are expected to reopen on Tuesday.