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Police investigate ‘frightening’ social media post targeting West Vancouver school

An interior shot of Rockridge Secondary School. .
An interior shot of Rockridge Secondary School. . West Vancouver School District

Students arriving at West Vancouver’s Rockridge Secondary School on Monday morrning were met by police liaison officers after a threatening social media post was circulated on Sunday.

The West Vancouver Police Department (WVPD) said an investigation had determined that there was no credibility to the threat, but had officers on site to ease concerns among parents and students.

WVPD spokesperson Const. Kevin Goodmurphy told Global News police had been alerted to the post around 3:30 p.m. Sunday after concerned parents and students said it had been shared widely.

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“The post itself was quite frightening in nature and seemed to have been directed towards Rockridge school,” Goodmurphy said.

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He said the school and district were notified, and officers quickly identified the student who had posted it.

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“The officers met with this young person, who is a student at Rockridge Secondary School, as well as their parents, had lengthy conversations and essentially conducted a risk assessment to determine the credibility of the threat,” he said.

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Goodmurphy said officers determined there was no credible threat and that the student would not be facing criminal charges.

However, he said discussions between the student, the student’s parents, the school, district and police were ongoing to determine “next steps.”

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West Vancouver School District associate superintendent Sean Nosek said the district had worked closely with police and that the student is “not in attendance until further notice.”

Nosek wouldn’t speak to potential disciplinary action, citing privacy regulations.

However, in the case of inappropriate social media posts, he said that schools have a range of options.

In a general sense, online behavior that impacts students at schools can result in anything from conversations and coaching, family involvement, and a whole range of discipline that could include suspension and or, if extreme enough, expulsion from school,” said Nosek.

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Goodmurphy added that police thoroughly investigate all potential threats, and had advice for young people about their words on social media.

“There’s a lot of information floating around back and forth between young people, and sometimes it’s for a joke, or to get a reaction, and we want to make sure we’re keeping everybody’s safety in mind,” he said.

“So whether or not you think it’s a joke it can be taken totally out of context and raise some concerns for people, so just be mindful about what you’re posting.”