School board hoping to learn from lockdown incident involving Airsoft gun | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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School board hoping to learn from lockdown incident involving Airsoft gun

January 29, 2016 - 2:30 PM

VERNON - Administration is taking an incident involving a student who brought an Airsoft gun to a Vernon high school very seriously.

No one was hurt, but the incident created quite a scene Wednesday morning, Jan. 28 when police swarmed the school after a neighbour reported seeing someone enter the building with what looked like a weapon.

Close to 1,000 students at Vernon Secondary were immediately put on lockdown, School District 22 Superintendent Joe Rogers says.

“Vernon Secondary School actually had a lockdown practice two weeks ago, so I know this time, when we went to lockdown, kids were in their rooms with their teacher behind locked doors within 45 seconds. RCMP arrived within four minutes,” Rogers says. "The students were aware it was not a drill."

Police located a student with an Airsoft pistol, and the lockdown was lifted at 9:50 a.m. Officers seized the gun and interviewed the student, but are not considering charges.

The school district’s assessment team, made up of counsellors, administration, an RCMP liaison, and health professionals are now speaking with the student, witnesses, classmates and family to figure out why this happened, and how it can be prevented in the future.

“Was there anything that happened before that caused it? Was it just a poor decision? We’ll look at this to find the reason and ensure it doesn’t happen again,” Rogers says.

The student’s age and identity has not been released, but Rogers says the individual is not at school right now. He adds it’s too soon to say how the student will be dealt with.

Rogers says anything that resembles a weapon is not allowed on school property, something students are made well aware of by teachers and principals.

Extra counsellors were on hand after the incident to support students, and about 100 grade 11 students who were writing a provincial social studies exam when the lockdown occurred will get the chance to rewrite the test today, Jan. 29.

“Some of them were able to go back and write after the lockdown but for some of them it was hard to concentrate,” Rogers says.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2016

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