An incident that forced a Vernon high school into lockdown won’t result in criminal charges.
Police converged on Vernon Secondary School after 9 a.m. Wednesday after receiving a report of an individual entering the school with what appeared to be a weapon.
“We will not be proceeding with charges,” said Const. Jocelyn Noseworthy, with the Vernon RCMP, adding that it was determined that a student had an air soft pistol.
The student was interviewed by police but Noseworthy could not say why the student brought the pistol to school.
“There was no criminal intent,” she said.
“The student will be dealt with by the school board.”
As a result of the incident, the school district will initiate a threat assessment protocol.
“We will look at all of the issues that led to it,” said Joe Rogers, superintendent.
The process will include the student and parents.
“It could also involve the Interior Health Aurthority if there is a need for counselling,” said Rogers.
Rogers would not speculate on any potential punishment, such as suspension.
“We need to find out all of the background first. We need to find out what was going through the student’s thinking at the time,” he said.
Students and staff were in the midst of exams when they were told to initiate lockdown measures.
“She (my daughter) was scared. It was a level one lockdown so no lights and they had to hide for over 30 minutes before they were told all was OK,” said a parent.
The lockdown was finally lifted at 9:50 a.m. and Vernon School District insists security procedures proved effective.
“I want to thank the staff and students for following the threat-assessment protocol in going through the process in a very professional way, and that none of our students, through this process, were ever at any risk,” said Rogers.
Given the recent death of four people in La Loche, Sask., including two in a school, Noseworthy insists reports of firearms must be taken seriously.
“These are situations that can potentially develop into something that’s devastating to a community,” she said.