PEI

P.E.I. teachers not required to sweep schools after bomb threat

A spokesperson for the P.E.I. Department of Education has clarified that no Island teachers were asked to go back into schools affected by evacuation orders.

Teachers' union advises staff to go home once all students are picked up

Police prepare to enter St. Jean Elementary School in Charlottetown. (CBC News)

A spokesperson for the P.E.I. Department of Education has clarified that no Island teachers were asked to go back into schools affected by evacuation orders.

All Island schools were put under evacuation order Wednesday morning after a bomb threat was received by RCMP in Ottawa via fax. That threat was later deemed "not credible."

Concerns raised at media briefing

Concerns were raised following an RCMP media briefing earlier in the day when Staff Sgt. Kevin Baillie suggested school staff would be in the best position to identify any possible threats in their school buildings.

"Our recommendation is that the schools — staff know the schools better than anybody — that staff go through every area of the school," he said, "and we want to know if they noted anything suspicious or out of the ordinary over the past few days and then as they go through the school, are there any suspicious packages or anything else that seems out of place in the school, and if that's the case, they should call the RCMP, and at that point we'd likely look at bringing in bomb disposal people."

Baillie clarified later that police officers did the sweeps, but that school staff might be on site to help police identify anything that might be unusual or out of place.

Union to members: 'Go home'

The Prince Edward Island Teachers' Federation sent a mass email to its members, advising them that once the last students had been picked up from the designated safe zones, teachers themselves were to go home.

"No, they will not be sweeping the school," said PEITF president Bethany MacLeod. The union also asked its members to call immediately if they were given any different directions in terms of what they should be doing.

"Obviously we want to make sure and ensure that it's safe for the teachers as well as the students. So we've been instructed to tell them to go home and that's what we're doing."

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