New Brunswick

High schools warn of threatening messages, videos circulating on social media

Three high schools in the Anglophone West School District sent a letter to parents Friday afternoon saying they are aware of messages and videos "related to student activities of a threatening nature."

Fredericton police are aware of messages and videos, urge anyone with info to come forward

Fredericton High School says it is "committed to the safety and security" of its students after being made aware of threatening videos and messages posted online. (Catherine Harrop/CBC)

Three high schools in the Anglophone West School District sent a letter to parents Friday afternoon saying they are aware of messages and videos "related to student activities of a threatening nature."

In the letter, Fredericton High School, Leo Hayes High School and Oromocto High School said they're "committed to the safety and security of all our students" and are working with police and the school district to resolve the situation.

The letter does not describe what is happening at either of the schools.

David McTimoney, superintendent for the district, said tensions arise among students on occasion and are typically handled at the school level. 

"It just so happens that in this particular case, the schools are working with the district and the police because the tension and the disagreement among kids seems to be a little stronger than usual," said McTimoney, confirming some fighting has occurred on and off school property. 

Leo Hayes High School is one of three schools in the Anglophone West School District that sent a letter to parents Friday afternoon. (CBC)

McTimoney couldn't say how many fights have taken place, although he said an incident earlier this week prompted the schools to have police involved.

Fredericton police say they're working with the schools and district administration to ensure students and staff are safe. 

Alycia Bartlett, the force's spokesperson, said in an email that anyone with "knowledge of any criminal activities" should contact police immediately. 

Fredericton High School and Leo Hayes High School sent a letter to parents Friday afternoon regarding videos and messages of a "threatening nature" circulating online. (Submitted by Brad Sturgeon)

The letter to parents sent Friday urges them to discuss "safe and responsible practices" with their children over the weekend. 

"You can also help by asking your child to refrain from posting or sharing on social media, with the hopes of preventing further worries or rumours," the letter said.

The schools sent the letter to keep parents informed, McTimoney said.

"We know that with social media sometimes things can get exaggerated," he said. "Stories can spiral out of control. We wanted to share with parents information that we could share pertaining to this situation."

The letter said the threatening activities are rumoured to continue. McTimoney, however, is expecting the fighting will stop soon. 

"We don't anticipate that this is going to go on and on and on."

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