Waterloo Regional Police placed three schools in Kitchener and one in Cambridge under hold and secures on Thursday but they were not all related.
Police say two of the schools in Kitchener were as a result of a weapons incident while the third school in Kitchener and the one in Cambridge were as a result of online threats.
They announced the first one at Jacob Hespeler Secondary School in Cambridge at around 10:30 a.m. but it was lifted by police in less than 30 minutes.
At around 12:15 p.m., police announced they had placed St. Mary’s High School in Kitchener under a hold and secure as well. The school is located in the Country Hills area of the city.
“So the St. Mary’s hold and secure, and Jacob Hespeler one from this morning appear to be very similar in nature, where there’s potential threats of violence towards the school via a social media platform,” Const. Ashley Dietrich told Global News.
Police say there were online posts that threatened violence towards the school, staff, and students of both schools.
They say it has been determined the threats came from a school in the U.S. and there is no threat to public safety at this time.
Kitchener Waterloo Collegiate Institute (KCI), which is located in downtown Kitchener, was initially placed under a lockdown shortly before noon as police said they were conducting an investigation nearby on King Street.
Police say officers were initially called after it had been reported that someone in the area had a gun.
A short time later the lockdown at KCI was switched to a hold and secure after police found a man with a knife.
“KCI was placed in a lockdown for reports of an individual with a weapon,” Dietrich told Global News.
An 18-year-old man from Waterloo was arrested and is facing a charge of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.
The Waterloo Region District School Board also said that nearby King Edward Public School had been placed under a hold and secure as well.
The hold and secure at both downtown schools had come to an end before 1 p.m.