Stelly’s Seecondary School in Central Saanich (Hugo Wong/News Staff)

B.C. student arrested for school threat on social media

An online post showed them firing a weapon with the caption ‘practicing for school’

A Vancouver Island high school student has been arrested for a social media post showing them firing a weapon into a small target with the caption “practicing for school.” Police recommended charges of uttering threats and mischief.

The male student at Stelly’s Secondary School in Victoria was arrested without incident on Monday, March 5 and released on a promise to appear and undertaking with several conditions.

Sgt. Andy Duke of Central Saanich Police said they are still investigating where and when the video was made. He said the video, which was posted to Instagram, was seen by Stelly’s students who brought it to the attention to the school, who then contacted the police.

Duke said these types of incidents are not common in the area, but there have been more reports to police following the recent Florida school shooting. He said at this time, there did not appear to be a connection to the lockdown at Bayside Middle School on March 1, when police spent four hours searching for a possible masked person with a weapon.

MARCH 1: Lockdown lifted at Bayside Middle School.

“People are much more perceptive of potential problems, so we’re being more aware of them,” said Duke.

Duke said the police are still determining whether there is any link between this Instagram post and some threatening graffiti also found in Stelly’s washrooms last week, which prompted principal Sally Hansen to circulate two letters to parents — one on March 1 and another on March 6.

On March 1, Hansen said school officials “do not believe there is any substance to the reported message at this time.” In that letter, Hansen wrote that staff had not seen the threatening message themselves, and student reports were not consistent, though they did involve Central Saanich Police at that time.

RELATED: Largest emergency response for Saanich school district.

On March 6, Hansen wrote in an update that additional social media posts have “served to increase student anxiety, particularly around the date of March 8th.” Stelly’s will be open and operating as normal, but tests and due dates will not be assigned that day.

In an interview Tuesday, SD63 superintendent Dave Eberwein said while he could not comment on the specifics of an ongoing investigation, the school district has known about the concerns “for a couple of days, and have been working with police digging deeper into the post we found.” He said the district does not plan to significantly change its policies and procedures for the time being.

“I think the message that the parents and the community should take away from this is that we take things very seriously. Our primary purpose is to make sure we have safe places for everybody.”

For students that do require support for their academic, behaviour, or emotional support, Eberwein said there is “wraparound” care in the form of school and district counsellors, and they work with parents or the external community if other support is needed.

Updated on March 8, 2018 at 9:55 a.m. with comment from SD63 superintendent Dave Eberwein.

Correction: In an earlier version of this story, it was reported that a weapon was fired into a snowbank due to incorrect information from police. The weapon was actually fired at a small target.



reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Incumbents and acclaimed mayors win elections all across B.C.’s north

Fraser Lake saw their first female mayor elected

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Ocean “Blob” returns to North Coast of B.C.

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Voting set to start in B.C. proportional representation referendum

Two-part ballots now being mailed to all registered voters

Liberals write off $6.3 billion in loans as part of money never to be collected

That includes student loans and a $2.6 billion write off that came through Export Development Canada

Category 5 Hurricane Willa threatens Mexico’s Pacific coast

Hurricane-force winds extended 30 miles (45 kilometres) from the storm’s centre

Trudeau, McKenna to announce compensation for federal carbon plan

Provinces that don’t have a carbon price of at least $20 per tonne of emissions will have Ottawa’s plan forced on them

Okanagan parachute accident kills American

Man, 34, dies in skydiving accident Saturday near Westwold, between Vernon and Kelowna

Man who died at BC Ferries terminal shot himself as police fired: watchdog

Officers didn’t commit any offence, says police watchdog office

Canada Post strikes leaves small shops in the lurch as holidays approach: CFIB

Rotating strikes began in Victoria, Edmonton, Halifax and Windsor

Voter turnout at 36% in B.C.’s municipal election

Vancouver saw 39% turnout, Surrey saw 33%

Harry and Meghan travel in different style on Australia tour

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day seven of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

Most Read