Prank at Nanaimo school forced temporary lockdown

Three students finished the year at John Barsby Secondary School with a prank that could have injured their peers.

Donna Reimer, Nanaimo school district spokeswoman, said the incident happened at about 1:40 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

The three individuals, who have not been caught, poured cooking oil and marbles on the floor in the school’s hallways, covering a significant portion of the school before someone spotted them.

“The school hasn’t been able to identify who they were yet,” said Reimer. “When they were spotted, they ran out of the school. [Staff] locked down the school because the hallways weren’t safe to walk in and then they dismissed the students as they got each area cleaned up. It was definitely a safety concern.”

Reimer said the school is operating under the assumption that the three were John Barsby students and that this was possibly a graduation prank.

She said grad pranks aren’t as common as they used to be in the district, adding that the only other one she’s heard about is a large water fight outside Nanaimo District Secondary School Friday afternoon.

The water fight was supervised by the school’s RCMP liaison officer to ensure it didn’t get out of hand or move indoors.

“In the past, [pranks have] involved a large number of students,” said Reimer. “When you have three students doing something, it becomes almost more like vandalism really.”

Staff work hard to encourage students to think of positive ways to leave a legacy at the school, she added.

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