Saskatchewan

Police lift hold and secure at Balgonie schools, following investigation into alleged threats

The school division in charge of Balgonie's high school has confirmed supports are being brought in after the death of one of its students.

Following investigation, RCMP said threat reported earlier was found to be 'unsubstantiated'

RCMP said to expect significant police presence around Greenall High School in Balgonie, Sask. (CBC)

The school division in charge of Balgonie's high school has confirmed supports are being brought in after the death of one of its students.

Both schools in the town, located about 30 kilometres east of Regina, were under a precautionary hold-and-secure mode but that protocol had been lifted before 7 p.m. CST Wednesday, according to the Prairie Valley School Division. No staff or students were ever at risk during the course of the day, the division stated.

"Our school community has experienced a tragic loss. First and foremost our sympathy and condolences are extended to the family and we share in their sorrow and loss," the division said in an email statement. 

The division confirmed the death did not happen at school, but said it has a team of counsellors in place to assist students and staff. 

They said the team will remain in place as long as the need exists. 

Schools placed under hold-and-secure

The Regina Police Service stated that it became aware of the death of a student from the Balgonie school, which took place on Monday night. After the youth's death, it was alleged there were threats directed at other students of the same school.

RCMP confirmed on Wednesday that members were on scene at Greenall High School after online threats were made against the school and/or students where the deceased student attended. Regina Police assisted White Butte RCMP in investigating the alleged threats.  

According to police, those comments were being made by kids and the "ever expanding rumour mill." 

"The comments that were made toward the school and students were somewhat vague in nature but serious enough that they warranted the schools be placed in hold and secure mode while the comments were investigated," RCMP said in an email statement. 

Staff and students were still able to enter the school but everyone else who didn't need to be there was asked to avoid the area.

RCMP described the police presence as "significant," and initially stated the hold mode would remain in place while police worked to determine the validity of the comments.

"The 'I heard this' and 'so and so heard that' is making determining what exactly the thoughts are behind the posts or if there is a real threat so difficult," the RCMP statement said. 

Much of the information came third or fourth parties, which police said made tracking down the sources challenging. But by the end of the investigation, police said it had determined the threat reported earlier was "unsubstantiated." 

Following the lifting of the hold-and-secure protocol, Prairie Valley School Division expressed its gratitude to the White Butte RCMP detachment and the Regina Police Service "for the communication and advisement throughout this challenging day."

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