Kitimat RCMP stationed officers at Mount Elizabeth Middle Secondary School on Monday, May 13, following a message posted on Facebook regarding a potential shooting at the school.
Coast Mountains School District superintendent Katherine McIntosh posted a statement on CMSD’s website on Sunday, May 12, about a shooting threat at MEMSS as well as Skeena Middle School in Terrace.
“Kitimat and Terrace RCMP, Safer Schools Together — the school district’s provincial student safety experts — school district personnel and school administration are continuing their investigation,” read the statement. “The RCMP and Safer Schools Together have determined this is a low-level risk event.”
McIntosh said the message, written by a former MEMSS student, was first posted to the Terrace Buy & Sell page on Facebook at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
“School district officials were immediately informed of this new message, who in turn contacted the RCMP and Safer Schools Together to investigate. Persons of interest are currently being questioned by the RCMP and school district staff,” said McIntosh.
Terrace RCMP were also stationed at Skeena Middle School on Monday.
“The safety and well-being of all our students and staff is paramount and events of this nature are taken very seriously,” added McIntosh.
Sunday’s threat follows two related incidents at Terrace’s Skeena Middle School on May 7 and May 10.
A message written on a mirror in one of the washrooms prompted the school and CMSD to contact the RCMP and Safer Schools Together (SST).
While this threat was also classified low-risk, RCMP members were nevertheless posted at Skeena Middle School on May 8, 9 and 10.
On Thursday, May 10, another message was received via social media, which again was determined to be low-risk.
McIntosh said school staff and parents were kept informed throughout the week and counsellors were available on May 10 for students who needed someone to talk to.
“The school district takes every precaution to ensure the safety of all its students and staff. The safety and well-being of all our students and staff is paramount and events of this nature are taken very seriously.
“The school district will be conducting its own investigation into these incidents. The school district has activated its multi-disciplinary Violence Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) process. This involves the RCMP and other community partners,” said McIntosh.
“School and school district officials continue to be in contact with the RCMP, the Ministry of Education and Safer Schools Together to ensure the emotional health, safety and well-being of all students and staff at Skeena Middle School and MEMSS.”
McIntosh said CMSD is arranging school staff sessions and parent information evening sessions facilitated by the RCMP and SST.