Edmonton police say they do not believe students are in danger following social media threats against local high schools.
At around 7:30 p.m. Sunday, police said they received several reports of a threatening photo circulating on social media amongst students from Jasper Place High School.
“Police have investigated this, through a variety of steps, and do not believe there is any present danger to the students, staff or public as a result of this social media post,” the Edmonton Police Service said in a media release early Monday morning.
Police have been in contact with school officials and said a school resource officer will be available to students.
On Monday afternoon, Edmonton police said a similar, threatening photo was circulating amongst J. Percy Page students.
Police investigated this threat and do not believe there is danger to the students, staff or public.
It is believed that the photos used in the threats are stock images found online. Police said similar images are being circulated amongst students as far away as Winnipeg, Man.
“We appreciate all of the calls we received regarding both incidents,” Sgt. Em Chan with the School Resource Officer Unit said. “As a result of this swift reporting, we were able to identify the sources of the threats quickly, and ensure the safety of the students, staff and general public.”
Police said charges have not been laid in either incident and no further information will be released.
Jasper Place High School in located in west Edmonton’s West Meadowlark Park neighbourhood and has more than 2,300 students. J. Percy Page is located in Mill Woods.
A spokesperson with Edmonton Public Schools said telephone or social media threats were also made against three more local high schools on Monday: W.P. Wagner, Centre High and Eastglen.
“Each threat was received at the school and the school immediately alerted the Edmonton Police Service who responded and investigated,” Megan Normandeau said.
“We do take every incident very seriously and we do work with the Edmonton Police Service to make sure we can keep our students safe and secure while they’re at school.”
Students at a high school southeast of Edmonton were placed in a “hold and secure” on Monday after similar threats were made in Camrose.
The Battle River School Division said the Ecole Camrose Composite High School was put in the hold and secure at 11:55 Monday morning.
The external doors were locked and police officers were on hand monitoring the school. Both the school division and police said the action was taken because of “external social media posts.”
The hold and secure was lifted at 1:55 p.m.
At least five schools in Calgary were locked down as well on Monday as police investigated swatting calls.
Police said the schools received various threats, including one suggesting there were explosives planted in the school. Another stated an armed person was coming to the school with the
intention of carrying out a shooting of some kind.
The investigation is ongoing, but police said there was no threat to the schools.
– With files from Heide Pearson, Global News and Cassandra Jodoin, 630 CHED