Lock­down at RDHS

Threat to El­gin school closes doors for more than an hour

The Recorder & Times (Brockville) - - NEWS - RONALD ZAJAC With files from Post­media Net­work

EL­GIN — Rideau Dis­trict High School was placed on lock­down Thurs­day morn­ing as a re­sult of a threat, of­fi­cials at the re­gion’s pub­lic school board con­firmed.

The lock­down hap­pened at around 11:35 a.m. af­ter board of­fi­cials were made aware of a threat, said Deanna Perry, su­per­in­ten­dent of safe schools at the Up­per Canada Dis­trict School Board.

“Po­lice were called as a re­sult of the threat be­ing made to the school,” she added.

The lock­down was put in place be­cause it was un­sure whether the threat came from in­side or out­side the school, added Perry.

Un­der a lock­down, stu­dents are kept se­cure in their class­rooms.

Once po­lice con­firmed there was no threat in­side the school, the sit­u­a­tion was down­graded to a hold and se­cure.

“Po­lice have in­ves­ti­gated and do not have any im­me­di­ate con­cerns,” of­fi­cials at the high school posted on Face­book around 12:30. “Stu­dents are safe but no­body is al­lowed in or out of the build­ing.”

The hold and se­cure was lifted around 1 p.m., said Perry.

She had no de­tails on the na­ture of the threat, adding this was a mat­ter for the On­tario Pro­vin­cial Po­lice.

While the threat was made to the high school, a hold and se­cure or­der was also in place at Sweet’s Cor­ners El­e­men­tary School, South Crosby Pub­lic School and Rideau Vista Pub­lic School as a pre­cau­tion.

“All af­ter school ac­tiv­i­ties at Rideau DHS have been can­celled for the day so po­lice can con­tinue their in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” the high school later added on Face­book.

Staff at the high school would not speak di­rectly to me­dia.

Pub­lic board of­fi­cials take threats se­ri­ously and staff at the schools run reg­u­lar drills to prac­tice lockdowns and hold and se­cure sit­u­a­tions, said Perry.

This was the first lock­down of the cur­rent school year within the pub­lic board, she added.

RDHS was one of five Kingstonarea schools locked down on Thurs­day.

Be­tween 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Marie-Rivier Catholic Sec­ondary School, Loy­al­ist Col­le­giate and Vo­ca­tional In­sti­tute, RDHS, Kingston Col­le­giate and Vo­ca­tional In­sti­tute, and Holy Name Catholic School all re­ceived the calls and were put into lock­down.

As staff and stu­dents locked their doors, drew their blinds and hid un­der desks, po­lice ar­rived in full force.

On Wed­nes­day three Kingston sec­ondary schools re­ceived threat­en­ing phone calls as well.

The threats made to all the schools have been sim­i­lar in na­ture. Const. Cam Mack of the Kingston Po­lice said that most of the calls have been to the prin­ci­pals of each school, but couldn’t say if that from a male or fe­male caller.

“The threats are: that some­one is at the school or is ap­proach­ing the school that has weapons and in­tends on en­ter­ing and caus­ing harm,” Mack said, not spec­i­fy­ing what the weapons are.

Const. San­dra Barr of Leeds On­tario Pro­vin­cial Po­lice con­firmed that Rideau Dis­trict High School, in El­gin, re­ceived a sim­i­lar threat to the Kingston schools.

A Twit­ter ac­count on­line has tak­ing credit for the lockdowns, livetweet­ing each lock­down as they hap­pened. Though the ac­count an­nounced which school was next, Mack wouldn’t con­firm it is con­nected to the case. Po­lice sim­ply asked for any­one who is in con­tact with any­one they sus­pect of be­ing in­volved in the threats to stop com­mu­ni­cat­ing with them. De­spite that, the ac­counts fol­low­ers dou­bled on Thurs­day.

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