Po­lice raid on house fol­lows threat to OBHS

Otago Daily Times - - FRONT PAGE - CHRIS MOR­RIS chris.mor­[email protected]

AN on­line threat which forced the evac­u­a­tion of Otago Boys’ High School in Dunedin failed to de­rail the start of NCEA ex­ams for the school’s pupils or thou­sands of oth­ers across the South yes­ter­day.

The threat — the de­tails of which have not been re­vealed — brought emer­gency ser­vices racing to OBHS at 7.35am yes­ter­day, on the morn­ing of the first day of NCEA ex­ams.

The cor­dons were lifted shortly be­fore 10am, al­low­ing af­ter­noon ex­ams to be held as nor­mal, af­ter a search found noth­ing of con­cern.

How­ever, po­lice raided a North Dunedin house yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, seiz­ing sev­eral elec­tronic de­vices in­clud­ing mo­bile phones and com­put­ers.

Po­lice were speak­ing to a ‘‘num­ber of youths’’ in re­la­tion to the in­ci­dent, but no charges had been laid.

The in­ci­dent dis­rupted morn­ing ex­ams and saw a schol­ar­ship cal­cu­lus exam moved from OBHS to John McGlashan Col­lege, while a level 2 physics exam was shifted to St Hilda’s Col­le­giate.

About a dozen pupils went to the exam at John McGlashan and about 70 boys went to St

Hilda’s to com­plete the physics exam.

OBHS rec­tor Richard Hall said the ‘‘in­ter­est­ing’’ start to the day was one ‘‘we didn’t need’’, but the pupils, com­mu­nity and other schools had re­acted well.

Evac­u­a­tion pro­ce­dures had been car­ried out ‘‘su­perbly’’ by those in­volved, and the abil­ity to shift OBHS pupils to other schools to sit their morn­ing ex­ams was ‘‘a fine ex­am­ple of the spirit of the Dunedin com­mu­nity, and par­tic­u­larly the sec­ondary schools’’.

Else­where in Dunedin, ex­ams went ahead as nor­mal — and with the nor­mal amount of nerves.

Among those sit­ting their first NCEA ex­ams yes­ter­day were Ka­vanagh Col­lege pupils Tobias Dev­ereux (15) and An­drew Wil­son (17).

Nei­ther ad­mit­ted to too many nerves yes­ter­day, al­though Tobias said the news from OBHS had been ‘‘a bit scary’’ to start with.

Both sat their schol­ar­ship cal­cu­lus exam in the morn­ing, fol­lowed by level two physics in the af­ter­noon. Tobias said he felt ‘‘pretty good’’ be­tween ex­ams.

‘‘I an­swered most of the ques­tions. I checked them and there weren’t a lot I wasn’t able to do,’’ he said.

An­drew was also con­fi­dent af­ter his morn­ing’s ef­forts.

‘‘I found a lot of ques­tions chal­leng­ing but at the same time I was able to un­der­stand what to do.’’

PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH

Test­ing time . . . Otago Boys’ High School pupils evac­u­ate yes­ter­day af­ter an un­spec­i­fied on­line threat — on the morn­ing of the first day of NCEA ex­ams — re­sulted in emer­gency ser­vices flood­ing the area.

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