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Social media threat sees two youth arrested

 Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe

A threat made on Friday, Dec. 1 resulted in two youth arrested at Lacombe Composite High School. (Photo submitted.)

A threat made on Friday, Dec. 1 resulted in two youth arrested at Lacombe Composite High School. (Photo submitted.)

An incident involving a social media threat has resulted in two youth charged with uttering threats and mischief.

 

On Friday, Dec. 1, what was called a “vague and indirect threat” against Lacombe Composite High School (LCHS) was posted to the mobile application Snapchat.

Lacombe Police took the student who allegedly posted the threat into custody late in the school day on Friday, while another youth who does not attend the school is being investigated.

Neither can be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, however, both face charges of uttering threats and mischief.

Police say the situation was resolved without incident, and at no time were staff or students at risk, something Wolf Creek Superintendent Jayson Lovell confirmed.

“It was classified as a low credibility threat,” he said. “It’s still serious. There’s absolutely no question that any threat that comes to the attention of the school district, we take extremely seriously.

“There was no imminent danger to students and staff.”

While the incident was dealt with at the school, the situation escalated earlier this week when parents took to social media, upset about not being informed right away about the incident, and rumours began to spread about the threat involving gun violence.

Lovell said he wasn’t sure where that rumour started, but confirmed that “no guns were involved in this matter at any time,” nor were any other weapons.

A letter was sent out to parents on Tuesday, explaining how the school dealt with the incident via Wolf Creek’s Administrative Procedure 106 - the Protocol for Schools Dealing with Threat and Risk Assessment.

The protocol outlines three risk assessment levels, with a level one being a low risk, and a level three being high risk, high credibility threat which would see the school go into a lockdown, or hold and secure situation.

Given the fact the matter saw the student removed from the school by police and there was no imminent danger, he said they felt there was no need for immediate communication to parents or students. Once all the information was gathered, they then had plans to inform parents and students.

“In our protocols and in our training, we recognize and understand there is a need for communication, but sometimes that communication is dictated by the nature of the incident and the severity of it,” he said.

“We don’t want our parents or our students to feel they’re not aware of what’s going on, but at the same time, we didn’t feel it was important for us to communicate at that point.”

He noted that such situations are a very rare occurrence in the district, and each year when students and parents are asked how safe they feel the district’s schools are, they are over 90 per cent.

“We do ensure our schools are safe and caring and welcoming.”

-abarrett@postmedia.com 



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