Kamloops authorities remain silent on why 8 schools were locked down yesterday | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops authorities remain silent on why 8 schools were locked down yesterday

RCMP officers at Chris Rose Therapy Centre during lockdown measures across North Kamloops on Wednesday afternoon.
Image Credit: Levi Landry
April 01, 2021 - 11:54 AM

Rumours continue to float on social media in Kamloops about why several North Shore schools were locked down yesterday afternoon, but a day later, authorities are still not sharing any information.

Neither Kamloops RCMP nor School District 73 are prepared to explain anything about the events of March 31, leaving frantic parents wondering what was going on. Rumours have filled the vacuum of information.

“I would encourage people to follow sources from the school board or the RCMP,” media relations officer Const. Crystal Evelyn said.

But there's no actual information from either source. 

Kamloops RCMP issued a press statement the afternoon of April 1 to clarify yesterday's events.

A "very serious and specific threat" to NorKam Senior Secondary School was reported to RCMP on March 31, around 1:40 p.m., the statement said. As is normal procedure, police contacted the school district to provide information about the threat and recommended the district implement its safety procedures.

School district spokesperson Diana Skoglund said as many as eight schools in School District 73 were locked down on the afternoon of March 31. Other facilities not under the district umbrella, like Kamloops Christian School and the Chris Rose Therapy Centre, were also affected by the lockdown measures.

Yesterday's investigation involved multiple RCMP units, including air services.

"As officers obtained more information and the initial threat did not materialize, police and the school district coordinated the safe exit of staff and students," Const. Evelyn said in a media release.

RCMP have confirmed the threat was directly in relation to NorKam Senior Secondary School, but the decision to lock down all schools in the North Shore and Brocklehurst areas was a school district decision.

“We’re not the ones who actually locked down the schools,” Const. Evelyn said.

READ MORE: Lockdowns ended, students dismissed from North Kamloops schools

Skoglund said she could not address the severity of the threat, nor what prompted the decision to lock down all schools in the area.

“If those decisions were made, it wasn’t in a vacuum. It would have been in conjunction with the RCMP,” Skoglund said. She added the school district is also waiting on further information from the RCMP.

Specific protocols involved in school lockdowns remain unclear as many parents wondered why their children could not contact their parents, but Skoglund said those measures are not publicly available because it would put staff and students at risk.

While NorKam Senior Secondary remained in lockdown until shortly after 5 p.m., all other schools were shifted to “hold and secure” earlier in the afternoon, which is an entirely different protocol, according to Skoglund.

“The only thing that’s really important is the safety of the staff and students,” Skoglund said. “The safety protocols were out of an abundance of caution, and I think it worked.”

There's no indication from either the school district or RCMP that more information is forthcoming. 

— This story was updated at 2:59 p.m. April 1, 2021 to include new information from RCMP.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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