RCMP are investigating the source of an anonymous and unspecified threat at Parkland Secondary School in North Saanich.
Staff at the school learned of the threat Tuesday morning (Nov. 22) before classes started (around 8 a.m.) and after consulting with police, held students in their classrooms while police arrived. A parent who spoke with police and school officials told the PNR that the threat apparently came from within the school.
As of around 11:30 a.m. the school’s ‘hold and secure’ was lifted, according to the school’s website, and students “are now moving into the lunch period. The situation has remained calm. Police continue to investigate the source of the threat but feel that the situation is under control and students and staff are safe to resume regular activities.”
Students were reported to be safe throughout the incident.
School District 63 (Saanich) Superintendent Dr. Keven Elder said as students arrived for class Tuesday morning, so did police, after school staff informed them of the threat. Students were told to go to their classrooms and stay there while the nature of the threat was determined. Elder said under the District’s threat response protocol, the school did not place students on a full lock down, but rather a ‘hold and secure’ to facilitate a police investigation.
Elder said police remain at Parkland, continuing their investigation, as students return to a normal day of classes. He did not reveal the nature of the threat and did not confirm if it originated from within the school, citing the ongoing police investigation.
School administrators and staff are trained on threat assessment protocols, Elder continued. Based on the information they receive, they judge the best response – typically in consultation with local police. In all cases, the safety of students and staff is paramount. Elder noted that Assistant Superintendent Mark Fraser (a former principal of Parkland) happened to be there Tuesday morning and was able to contribute to the school’s overall response.