Pattern of high school lockdowns continues in Kingston
After five schools were put on lockdowns on Wednesday, and several other schools were put under hold and secures, four more were locked down in Kingston and one was locked down in Elgin, Ont. on Thursday.
A threat was called into the École secondaire catholique Marie-Rivier around 10:15 a.m., and Kingston police tactical units responded to the scene. After police searched the school, the students and staff were deemed safe and the lockdown was lifted.
Another threat was put into Loyalist Collegiate and Vocational Institute (LCVI) some time after 11 a.m. At 12:15 p.m., that lockdown was changed to a hold and secure. Nearby schools, Centennial Public School and École Polson Park Public School, were put under hold and secures as a precautionary measure.
A school in Elgin, Rideau District High School, was locked down shortly before noon on Thursday. After an investigation, OPP say the school was deemed safe and the lockdown was lifted around 12:30 p.m.
Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute was locked down shortly after 2 p.m. on Thursday but was deemed clear of any threat shortly after. Students were allowed to leave at regular dismissal hours.
A threat was called in to Holy Name Catholic School after the Kingston Collegiate threat. The Holy Name lockdown was changed to a hold and secure at around 2:50 p.m. after no threat was found at the school. In fact, no actual threats have been found at any of the schools threatened.
Kingston police watch commander said the threats were similar to those made to three schools on Wednesday.
Those threats, which mentioned entering the schools with weapons in order to do harm, were made by phone on Wednesday to Regiopolis-Notre Dame Catholic High School at 9:30 a.m., Bayridge Secondary School at 11 a.m. and to Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School at 1 p.m. In each case, police found nothing and deemed the schools to be safe, and the lockdowns were downgraded to hold and secures.
A lockdown is put in place when there is a potential threat of violence somewhere inside the school. This differs from a hold and secure, when the potential threat is in close proximity to the school.
Just as it did on Wednesday, on Thursday morning, a Twitter account first created this December took responsibility for making threats to eight schools in the area. Kingston police have asked the public not to interact with the account because they could be encouraging the suspect. Despite that, the account keeps gaining followers and tweeting actively.
Kingston police says students and staff are not allowed to use electronic devices while they’re experiencing a lockdown, unless they have important information for emergency response teams.
The last two days of lockdowns have made some parents concerned to let their children go back to school and have prompted parents to attend schools during the the lockdowns.
Nevertheless, Kingston Police have asked parents not to attend any school while they are in lockdown for the safety purposes.
–This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
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