Cowichan Secondary School was under lockdown Friday morning. (Citizen file)

15-year-old arrested after Cowichan Secondary School lockdown

Teen may face charges of uttering threats

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP arrested a 15-year-old who may now be facing charges of uttering threats in connection to online threats against Cowichan Secondary Friday.

“An alert student notified staff after seeing the online threat and the school immediately activated their lock-down procedure and contacted the RCMP,” said North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jean Gelderblom.

The youth, who is not a student at the school, was arrested “a few blocks away” police said.

Officers were seen outside of the school carrying rifles Friday morning.

“We are in a precautionary lockdown,” School District 79 spokesperson Katie McLaughlin confirmed around 11 a.m. Friday. “There were some students that brought forward some information to district administration and out of an abundance of caution we were advised to go into a lock-down.”

McLaughlin said the students were safe inside the building while police investigated.

“We are just waiting for more information,” McLaughlin said.

They didn’t have to wait long.

“The RCMP worked really quickly and determined that the threat was not viable,” McLaughlin said less than a half hour later. The lockdown lasted around an hour.

“We are back in normal operation,” she said, adding that the events were all part of safety protocol.

“If a threat is received we want to make sure we act out of an abundance of caution,” she said, noting school officials have a plan in place to work efficiently with administration and the RCMP in those types of situations.

Cowichan Secondary staff issued a notice on Facebook that explained the ordeal and noted counselling would be made available if students felt they needed it.

“We recognize this can be an unsettling experience or your child. Counselling supports will be available as needed, and we encourage you to speak with your child as well,” it said.

The notice also explained Quamichan students were kept indoors.

“We also ensured the Quamichan students stayed inside while the police investigated, even though there was no threat to the school,” it said.


sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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