Social media threat leads to teen’s arrest

MABOU: The Code Blue rang across the speakers at Dalbrae Academy at approximately noon on October 29 and the school entered into a complete lockdown.

After receiving a report of a possible threat to the school made using Instagram, school administration immediately implemented the lockdown procedure and reported the alleged threat to the RCMP and the Strait Regional Centre for Education (SRCE), in accordance with their School Emergency Management Plan.

“Staff at Dalbrae Academy were made aware of an on-line threat to the school, the school was locked down and RCMP officers from the Inverness detachment responded and arrested a 15-year-old male youth in relation to this incident,” said RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jennifer Clarke in a media release. “No one was hurt as a result of this incident and the RCMP is continuing its investigation.”

Deanna Gillis, coordinator of communications for the SRCE, told The Reporter on October 30 that RCMP officers worked with school staff and determined there was no risk to students, staff, or the public’s safety and the lockdown was lifted at 12:50 p.m., at which time the normal school routine resumed.

“The safety of students and staff is of utmost importance and we will continue to ensure that our students and staff are in a safe and secure learning environment.”
Gillis said this incident is being taken very seriously by Dalbrae Academy, the RCMP and the SRCE.

“This incident is also under investigation by the school administration and the school is dealing with the incident as a disciplinary issue in accordance with the Provincial School Code of Conduct Policy,” she said. “In addition to communicating with parents/guardians via e-mail, text and voice message during the incident, the school administration followed up with a letter to students and parents/guardians as a follow up to the day’s incident.”

As part of the school’s ongoing efforts to educate students, Gillis said Dalbrae Academy staff are facilitating in-class discussions and arranged for presentations related to the responsible and respectful use of social media.

“The school is also organizing an upcoming presentation and discussion about the responsible use of social media applications, and possible legal consequences of inappropriate use.”

A lockdown is a procedure taken in response to an act or safety concern inside the school. During a lockdown, classroom doors are locked, students remain inside the room until instructed to resume activities, and access to the building is restricted.
“Dalbrae Academy students and staff are to be commended for their excellent cooperation during [this] incident,” Gillis said.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Inverness RCMP at 902-258-2213. Those who wish to remain anonymous, call Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), submit a secure Web tip at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca, or use the P3 Tips App.