Nanaimo RCMP were at Dover Bay Secondary School this morning after a threat led to a lockdown of the high school. (CHRIS BUSH/The NEWS BULLETIN)

Nanaimo RCMP to stay at schools for the rest of day following threat

Police, school district say measures are precautionary

While lockdowns and hold-and-secures at three Nanaimo district schools have been lifted, police will remain at schools for the remainder of the day, say officials.

Following a threat that was made to Dover Bay Secondary School on Friday morning, the north-end high school was put into lockdown, while McGirr Elementary and Nanaimo District Secondary School saw hold-and-secures implemented, according to Nanaimo RCMP and Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools.

No arrests were made, say police.

“An incident came directly to us this morning,” Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, told the News Bulletin. “We discussed it with senior staff at the school and we thought that the appropriate measure would be to lock down Dover and because McGirr was adjacent to it, put [it] on hold-and-secure. And there may have been some kind of relationship with NDSS involving this incident, so they were put on hold-and-secure.

“At 11:20 a.m., we had done what we felt was a pretty solid investigation into the incident. We deemed it wasn’t credible, but out of an abundance of caution for students staff and parents, two officers at the school will remain there for the rest of the day and we will continue to investigate this incident.”

RELATED: Nanaimo’s Dover Bay school locked down after threat

For parents and students the incident raised alarm, especially because of cellular communications coming from students hunkered down with their teachers as police searched the schools.

Craig Hewitt, father of a Grade 9 student at Dover Secondary School and a younger son attending McGirr Elementary said he heard fears that a shooter might have been in the school.

“They were just really scared so I headed over here as soon as I could,” Hewitt said. “I was in a panic. I got here as quick as I could. I was pretty scared, yeah. It’s not the most common thing.”

Students caught inside the school during the lock down said the experience was scary. Ella Ostrikoff, Grade 12 Dover Bay Secondary student, was in class in the upper floor of the school about 15 minutes under a hold-and-secure order, then the lockdown order was issued. She said students thought it was a drill at first, but then discovered through social media that NDSS was locked down too.

“Every thing was fine for about 15 minutes then we were into a lockdown, so lights off, lock doors, hide in the corners, not allowed to make any sounds,” said Ostrikoff. “That turned out [to be] for about 45 minutes and we’re all hearing different things happening outside of the school, by different sounds and everything.”

She said the students were told if they heard sounds of gunshots to get down on the ground and remain quiet.

“I was OK. I was a little shaken up, but then a lot of my classmates were crying and scared, texting their parents, of course,” she said.

Ostrikoff said no information about what was happening was communicated to the students, who turned to social media on their cell phones to find out what they could.

“We’re all on our phones, social media, that’s how we found out what was going on,” she said. “It made more students comfortable with knowing what was going on outside rather than no information.”

Christina Jones, Grade 9 student, was with about 20 students in the library who became frightened when the hold and secure order was raised to a lockdown.

“The teachers were rushing us into the back room of the library,” Jones said. “So we were all hiding there for an hour.”

Jones started texting friends and relatives to find out what was happening.

“I didn’t understand what was happening and my grandma was freaking out … she sent me this link that said Dover Bay and NDSS and McGirr were all getting threats.”

Dale Burgos, school district spokesman, said he couldn’t provide specifics on the incident, but said a lockdown is a situation when there is a threat in the immediate vicinity of the school, whether it’s outside the school or inside and a hold-and-secure is more to do with when something is happening near the school, where there is police presence.

Nanaimo RCMP said the investigation is ongoing and are asking anyone with information about the incident to call 250-754-2345.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Nanaimo sees Island’s first nurse practitioner primary care clinic

Nexus Primary Care Clinic opened in late June in south end

Nanaimo RCMP ask for help finding missing 19-year-old

Haley Murphy has not been seen since Tuesday, June 30, say police

Learning outside the classroom suits VIU’s carpentry program just fine

Vancouver Island University has partnered with KSG Consulting Ltd. to provide hands-on learning

Nanaimo chef the Sensitive Vegan takes tongue-in-cheek approach to serious cooking

Jesse Rubboli creates cassava-based recipes and shares them via YouTube and on social media

Resident helps man in distress in Departure Bay in the middle of the night

Seven-foot-tall resident able to wade out far enough to help ‘frantic’ man in the water

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Most Read