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Updated – RCMP contacts Central Alberta school Sunday over online threat

RCMP determined the threat was unsubstantiated and that there is no imminent threat

Late Sunday night Sylvan Lake RCMP contacted Ecole H.J. Cody School in regards to an online threat made mentioning the school on social media.

The call was made just before 11 p.m. on Sept. 30.

In an email statement sent out to parents by the school early Monday, H.J Cody said the threat originated from a source outside of the school division and RCMP have been able to determine the threat was unsubstantiated.

“We just wanted parents to know about it anyway because it was circulating online and they may have had questions,” said Kurt Sacher, superintendent of schools for Chinook’s Edge School District.

The email also stated H.J. Cody School will have their Family School Wellness team and Central Office Staff onsite as students arrive to school in the morning.

“In every one of our schools safety is the top priority, so we have what we call a Violence Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) Team assembled in every one of our schools,” explained Sacher. “They have really strict protocols that they have to follow whenever there is even a threat.”

The RCMP did assure the school the situation has been resolved and the RCMP were at the school Monday morning to debrief the event with administration, as per the email to parents.

“As far as moving forward goes we will still have an elevated level of vigilance where the principal [and] the staff are all alert to any kind of student commentary or what-not related to the matter,” said Sacher. “If we hear of anything or [are] provided with any information we pass it on to the police and they can determine what [or] if anything they do has followup.”

RCMP said in a phone interview they believe there is no imminent risk to the school, although they will be doing a followup investigation as per protocol.

Reaction to the statement online had many parents were still wary about sending their children to school and planned on keeping them at home.

The school day proceeded as usual and there was no significant sign of decrease in attendance on Monday, according to Sacher.

According to comments on social media the threat was made as a response to bullying, but Sacher said this incident didn’t not fall under the bullying jurisdiction and instead fell under the Violent Threat Risk Assessment protocols.

A number of people at Chinook’s Edge School Division have made connections with H.J. Cody to assure they had support.

RCMP confirmed the threat was made over Snapchat, but no information in regard to what the threat was is available at this time.

“I just think from every perspective our central office staff, our principal of the high school and the staff there, and the students, everybody did what they were expected to do, which is speak up when there is even a threat,” said Sacher, who added they take every threat seriously.



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