Another threat issued against Oakville high school at centre of teacher attire controversy

Another threat was issued over the weekend against an Oakville high school at the centre of controversy surrounding a teacher’s attire.

In a letter sent to the community at Oakville Trafalgar High School, principal Meredith Cammisuli and Halton District School Board (HDSB) superintendent Jacqueline Newton said they were made aware of “another threat of violence.”

“While we continue to receive online threats, we want to assure you that the school is being monitored on a 24-hour basis to help ensure student and staff safety,” the letter continued.

“(The) Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) have conducted a thorough search of the school, in accordance with the bomb threat protocol. Police have given the ‘all clear,’ confirming the school is safe at this time.”

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A statement from the HDSB said classes continued as scheduled on Monday.

A bomb threat was first issued against the school last Wednesday, prompting its closure for the day.

Halton police provided Global News with the email containing the threat that was sent Wednesday, which was also shared with some media outlets.

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It was an expletive-laden, violent message appearing to reference the controversy involving the school’s dress code. It also included direct threats against two HDSB staff members and Oakville as a whole.

The school was placed into lockdown due to the threat, searched and later deemed safe.

One day later, another emailed threat was issued against Oakville Trafalgar, which led to officers conducting another search of the facility.

A spokesperson for the HRPS told Global News the search didn’t turn up anything and that the school was deemed safe a short time later.

After the latest threat issued over the weekend, Cammisuli and Newton said they wanted to reassure the school community that the safety of staff and students is their “top priority.”

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“The Halton District School Board (HDSB) and Halton police continue to work together to investigate these threats and keep our schools safe, supportive and inclusive spaces to learn and work,” the letter said.

The letter went on to say that if another threat was issued against the school on Monday, the same protocol that was followed on Thursday would occur.

However, a Halton police spokesperson told Global News that they were not aware of any additional threats issued overnight or Monday morning.

Cammisuli and Newton said they continue to take direction from Halton police “when appropriate” and added that together with police, “emergency response plans” have been established, which include the steps that school and board staff follow in case of an emergency.

“Be assured, the school, the HDSB and (the) Halton Regional Police Service are taking every precaution to ensure the safety of students and staff,” they said.

“School board safety protocols and procedures are in place as they are in all Halton schools. No matter the intention, we take any intimidation or threat of violence seriously.

“Our students and staff, and all of us, have the right to learn and work in a safe environment without fear.”

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Earlier this month, a school board review suggested the teacher who made headlines around the world for wearing large prosthetic breasts to class at the school is not likely to be subject to a dress code when on the job.

Images of the staffer went viral on social media in September, prompting a dress code review from the HDSB, which revealed results to board members at a meeting.

The report recommends against adopting a system-wide dress code for staffers, suggesting it would potentially spark human rights violations.

— With files from Don Mitchell

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