Drunken incident at city school an ‘anomaly’: official

It was over almost as soon as it happened, but the actions of an intoxicated man who punched a teacher and chased students at a Red Deer school was enough to unnerve some.

It was over almost as soon as it happened, but the actions of an intoxicated man who punched a teacher and chased students at a Red Deer school was enough to unnerve some.

On March 5, a drunk man followed a class into Central Middle School, where he banged instruments, struck a teacher, pushed a student and chased other students before losing his shirt while escaping out a window.

He was arrested in downtown Red Deer shirtless.

Della Ruston, Red Deer Public School District associate superintendent for system improvement, called it an isolated incident and the first time it has ever happened.

The doors at Central Middle School are all locked, with the exception of the front door by the office.

It happened so quickly that the school did not have time to go into a hold and secure mode.

After the incident, Ruston met with the school’s staff and administration, and with Red Deer RCMP to debrief. They went over the school’s safety protocol and reviewed what happened during the incident.

“It was an anomaly and these things don’t usually happened,” said Ruston. “We do have some protocols in place to prevent this sort of thing, including the locked doors.”

Ruston pointed to the importance of following emergency procedures and the proper steps schools can take to enter into an emergency lockdown, or hold and secure mode.

But there wasn’t enough time to get the school into hold and secure because the incident was over very quickly.

“There were concerns from parents at that school, but the administration assured them it was a really isolated incident,” said Ruston. “Administration has reviewed all of their procedures and staff are working to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

She added that there wasn’t time to respond with a hold and secure or lockdown order because the man who entered the school left very quickly. In the future, a call for a hold and secure status at the school may happen quicker.

“Safe and caring are a priority for all our schools in the district,” said Ruston. “We do have safety plans in place and we review our protocols every year.”

The emergency procedures, such as hold and secure drills, are practised several times a year.

Tristan Palmer Krahn, 27, of Red Deer pleaded guilty to assault and disturbing the peace in Red Deer provincial court on March 17. He was sentenced to time served of 20 days and two years of probation.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com