Hamilton Police are investigating the source of a threat to Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School that prompted a lengthy lockdown on Monday.
It started just after 8 a.m. when school officials reported receiving two phone calls from what sounded like a male.
“There was a threat to bring a weapon to the school and harm students and teachers,” said Hamilton Police Superintendent Will Mason.
Some students were diverted from the school in the morning and waited to be picked up by parents and caregivers at Our Lady Assumption school.
Others had to remain inside the school while police conducted a room by room sweep.
Many parents hovered nearby, waiting and texting with their children.
Kim McLeod says she was relieved to hear that her son was safe at a friend’s house but frustrated that she didn’t hear anything about the lockdown from the school itself.
“If my son misses a class, they’ll call me right away. Today there is something major going on and they don’t even call you,” she said.
Parents with children still inside the school said they were trying to provide comfort over the phone.
By 12:30 p.m., police established that there was no validity to the threat and the lockdown was lifted.
But every threat, Mason stressed, is taken seriously, especially when it relates to a school.
The school was shut down for the remainder of the school day.
Mason said police are now focused on finding out who made the call.
Cellphone use during a lockdown
Hamilton Police are advising parents and students to avoid using their phones when these types of incidents are being investigated.
Mason says it increases the risk of misinformation being circulated.
He says the volume of activity could also compromise the cell network that police are using to communicate and investigate.