By Frank Giorno
During the morning hours of February 23, Timmins Police officers attended at a local intermediate school for a report of a threat made, announced Timmins Police Services in a news release issued on Friday.
Patrol officers, as well as an officer from the Criminal Investigation Section attended and investigated which lasted most of the school day. Information received by police indicated that a threatening message was written on a surface within the school.
Please note that there was no immediate threat to the school at any time, and the school remained open throughout the investigation.
TPS Communications Coordinator, Kate Cantin issued news release of threat at local intermediate school
Because of the investigation, a 12-year-old female youth now faces two charges of mischief and also of uttering threats.
Pursuant to the Youth Criminal Justice Act the name of the youth cannot be published. The youth was released on a Promise to Appear and will appear in Youth Criminal Justice court on March 27, 2018.
The charges laid by Timmins Police are the third in Ontario since the deadly mass shooting at Parkland, Florida’s Stoneman Douglas High School.
Students in Barrie and Tottenham, Ontario charged
A student in Barrie was charged with uttering death threats after social media post the week on February 20th. The Barrie teen attending Eastview Secondary School was charged with uttering death threats after making a social media post on Tuesday posing with what appeared to be a firearm.
Eastview and some other area schools took various security measures on Wednesday, the following day. The teen was released to a parent on Thursday. Outside the courthouse he told reporters that he meant no harm.
Last week, a student from St. Thomas Aquinas in Tottenham, Ontario was arrested over an alleged school threat. Tottenham, like Barrie, is in Simcoe County, north of Highway 9 and 20 kilometers west of Highway 400.
Kapuskasing student expelled for toy gun
On January 23, 2018, in Kapuskasing a student brought a toy gun to Kapuskasing District High School. No charges were laid as the Ontario Provincial Police, the Ministry of Labour and District School Board Ontario North East all maintain the student who brought the toy gun to Kapuskasing District High School did not pose a threat. They dismiss it was a threat to staff and students.
However, Derek Beland, the bargaining unit president for the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ said there isn’t enough evidence to support that.
A teacher at the school, filed a refusal to work complaint with the Ministry of Labour after the event. According to Beland the action was filed because the teacher was concerned for their own safety, and that of other students.
On the afternoon of January 23, 2018 as classes were ending, a teacher at Kapuskasing High School saw a student brandishing an object that looked like a firearm.
The principal reviewed hallway video footage of the incident. After reviewing the video, the principal consulted with DSBONE director of education, Lesleigh Dye and together determined the incident did not constitute a threat to safety.
The student was ordered to the principal’s office the next morning and he handed over a toy gun.
The student was suspended from the school for about two weeks and has been subject to behavioural conditions since the incident.
Police were called to the school a few days later, after at least one teacher expressed concern to their union.
Beland says the teachers’ union plans to appeal the ministry’s conclusions in the coming days and demand that it conducts a full workplace risk assessment.
In a move unrelated to the toy gun incident, Dye explains the board is acting after the tragic high school shooting in Florida last week.
“I have asked all our principals and vice-principals to review lockdown procedures at the March staff meetings, and in our district, schools practice lockdowns twice a year,” Dye said.
“It’s not to cause alarm, but to be prepared when a situation may occur,” she said.