Officers, including those with the tactical unit, swarmed Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute on Paisley Road just before 2 p.m. after a witness reported a group of kids walking towards the school, including one with a weapon, police said.
The service immediately had school officials place the building into a lockdown while officers searched the property.
“When a school is placed in lockdown, all occupants in the building are instructed to move to a secure location, all doors are locked including exterior and classroom doors, and all people inside the school are instructed to stay where they are until they are told otherwise by the police,” said school board spokesperson Heather Loney in an email.
She added that the school phoned home to notify parents and guardians about the lockdown and asked that they not come to the school amid the investigation.
The lockdown lasted nearly 90 minutes before police took a boy into custody. Students were allowed to then leave their classrooms and go home for the day.
“A black revolver-style cap gun was recovered,” police said in a news release on Wednesday.
Police said that the individual detained was “extremely remorseful” and added that officers educated him about the dangers of being in possession of what could be mistaken for a real firearm.
“Given that no threats were made and the cap gun was not used in an aggressive way, officers used discretion and referred the youth to the John Howard Society instead of laying any charges,” police said.
The board confirmed that the boy is a student at Guelph CVI and the school is now conducting its own investigation into the incident.
“(Officials) are following our policies and procedures as it relates to student discipline,” Loney said.