Mounties have arrested a 15-year-old male student for posting threats against Cedar Community Secondary School in Nanaimo.
The incident was reported to the Nanaimo RCMP on Friday, Nov. 3 when the teen was arrested by officers with the Nanaimo RCMP School Liaison Unit and then released to the care of his parents.
“Late on Friday, school administration was alerted to a perceived online threat to Cedar Community Secondary,” said Dale Burgos, School District 68 spokesman, in an e-mail to the News Bulletin. “RCMP were called immediately to investigate, who assisted in finding the source of the threat. Information was collected over the weekend and families of the school were notified on Monday.”
It was determined that the school was safe for the return of students on Monday. District staff, school administration and the RCMP are continuing with an investigation.
School administrators and the Nanaimo RCMP School Liaison Unit will conduct a threat assessment of the incident, but according to police, at this point, investigators are satisfied the incident is confined to the one student and there is no risk to the school, staff or students of the school.
Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said online threats by students are becoming more common and school liaison officers are also now tasked with educating students about the seriousness and consequences of making online threats.
“What we are finding, like many other communities, is an increase in threats being made via social media,” O’Brien said. “Youth have to be made aware that there’s no anonymity and, regardless whether they make it online or in person, that they will be held accountable for their actions.”
Police did not detail the nature of the threat.
The student’s release conditions restrict him from attending any school within School District 68. His first court appearance in Nanaimo provincial court is set for Jan. 18.