Fort Nelson students allowed to write exams elsewhere after 3rd shooting threat
A graffiti message found last week threatened a shooting would take place during finals
Students at a high school in Fort Nelson, B.C., are under heightened security and RCMP surveillance for the rest of the academic year after receiving multiple school shooting threats.
Last week, a graffiti message was found on a wall at Fort Nelson Secondary School threatening that a shooting would take place on the day of final exams, June 20.
This is the third such threat in the school district. A similar threat was posted in February and another appeared at a local elementary school in May.
"We're doing what we can to make the schools a safer place," said Linda Dolen, the school board chair for Fort Nelson's District 81.
Although the threats have been assessed as low-level and non-specific, they are being taken seriously.
"You cannot learn if you are not safe. It's that simple," Dolen told Carolina de Ryk, the host of CBC's Daybreak North.
Students who don't feel safe writing their final exams or doing final presentations at the school because of the graffitti message will be allowed to do them at the school board office instead, the school principal told parents in a letter on Thursday.
"We want to make sure that our parents are comfortable sending their kids to school," Dolen said.
The district is also upgrading the security and spending $25,000 on installing new security cameras, new locks and new windows at schools throughout Fort Nelson for the fall semester.
The cost of the security upgrades is coming out of the city's annual facilities grant budget and is part of ongoing upgrades, said Dolen.
RCMP have opened a file on the threats, spoken to students and are patrolling the school. There will also be a police presence at the school during finals.
"Our thinking right now is that it might be a call for help from one of the students involved but until we identify who it is, we won't know that," said Dolen.
RCMP say they takes threats of any nature very seriously, especially during a time of heightened awareness and concerns around school safety.
With files from Daybreak North.