Rutland Secondary School file photo

Violence threat at Kelowna high school

Precautionary steps taken at Rutland Senior Secondary after social media ‘threat-related behaviour’

A threat of violence posted on social media detected on Wednesday directed at Rutland Senior Secondary School (RSS) has drawn a swift reaction from Kelowna RCMP and Central Public Schools officials.

In a notice sent to parents Thursday morning by RSS principal Hugh Alexander, the “threat-related behaviour” was considered worrisome in nature and initiated a multi-disciplinary violence threat risk assessment process which involves police and other key community partners.

“Police believe there is no threat to our school, but due to the police investigation and privacy considerations, this is all I can share at this time,” Alexander said in the notice to parents.

“I want to assure you that all staff and students are safe. We take every precaution to ensure the safety of your child and our staff members.”

Kevin Kaardal, superintendent/CEO of Central Okanagan Public Schools, confirmed the threat was related to a social media posting, and the RCMP presence was stepped up at the school today as a precautionary step.

“In light of the recent tragic shooting at a Michigan school, we want to take an abundance of caution,” Kaardal said.

The shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan on Tuesday left four students killed and seven others wounded. A 15-year-old male suspect is in custody and prosecutors are considering further charges this week against the boy’s parents related to the purchase and securing of a 9 mm handgun days before the shooting occurred.

Kaardal said such events send a ripple effect of concern for school systems across North America.

“We have protocols in place to deal with such threats, and again our assessment risk is very low in this case…but it heightens our awareness and our vigilance when something like the tragedy in Michigan occurs,” Kaardal said.

READ MORE: 15-year-old charged with murder and terrorism in Michigan high school shooting

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