RCMP are asking people to stop posting false information on social media as they call for anyone with first hand information to come forward. (file photo)

RCMP issue appeal for real information regarding school lockdown

Online posts only frustrate the investigation

Online posts that link the hold and secure at EMCS on Thursday with alleged threats against the high school and the possession of weapons are frustrating the RCMP as they investigate the incident.

“This investigation, as with most police investigations, needs to be based on facts and first-hand information. Social media can be a great tool, but investigators are finding that rumours, speculation and hearsay are unnecessarily hampering the investigation,” Cpl. Chris Manseau said in a media release.

“We need people who have first-hand information to come forward, and speak with officers. I urge anyone with first-hand information to come forward to the Sooke RCMP detachment and speak with an officer to ensure the actual facts are known.”

He said talk of weapons and threats do nothing but stoke fear in the public.

The suspect arrested in the Nov. 7 incident, where Edward Milne Community School was placed in a hold and secure status for several hours, has been released from police custody.

So far, no charges have been laid.

The incident was prompted by social media posts that had come to the attention of the Sooke School District and the RCMP. At about 11:30 a.m. the information was enough to prompt the school to initiate the hold and secure status.

“Hold and secure is a bit different from a full lockdown as it involves the perimeter doors being locked and no one being allowed to enter or exit the school. In a lockdown, the additional precaution of locking classroom doors would have been put into place,” Stephanie Sherlock, school district spokesperson, said.

RELATED: Lockdown lifted

In a message to parents, Sherlock said while a full lockdown was not in place, the students were kept in their classrooms while the RCMP assessed the situation.

The school district statement emphasized that they have full confidence in the RCMP’s advice regarding the safety of the students.

“Having said that, we understand that some families may be feeling a range of emotions connected to the experience. We have made extra counsellors available in the school and are communicating that personally to each classroom. In addition, the community has a resource centre that you can access if needed,” said the statement.

Some questions have also surfaced regarding the fact that while EMCS experienced a hold and secure event, students at Saseenos Elementary continued with normal activities.

“During yesterday’s hold and secure at EMCS, it was determined by police that the potential threat was specific to EMCS. If at any time, the RCMP had indicated we should place Saseenos Elementary under a hold and secure, we absolutely would have. In these instances, we take our direction from police,” Sherlock said.

Hold and secure practice drills have become a normal part of the school year, and Sherlock said that drills were held earlier this year to prepare students for this type of situation.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Open house seeks public input on proposed lease for piece of Victoria High property

Open house takes place at Vic High on Nov. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Son of Second World War veteran returns to Norway to see site of rescue, repatriation

Six-man crew crash lands in Nazi occupied territory, only known instance of entire crew surviving

Colwood house helps homeless veterans get back on their feet

Cockrell House has helped more than 100 people since it was established in 2009

Colwood veteran recalls harrowing experience during Second World War

The 95 year old one of 32 survivors after German sub sinks warship

Legions help keep the memories alive

Legions offer many services for the community

VIDEO: Pups in the pool: West Shore rec centre’s Dog Swim a success

West Shore Parks and Recreation goes to the dogs Sunday night

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Devils strike early, hang on for 2-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver now 0-8-3 in last 11 games versus New Jersey

Carbon monoxide poisoning incident brings dangers of the gas to light

Island community adult and child go to hospital for treatment

Zombie debt will haunt more Canadians as scourge of indebtedness rises: experts

Total debt per consumer has surged to $71,979 in the second quarter

Most Read