Threat directed toward Antigonish high school

ANTIGONISH: As a result of an alleged threat directed at Dr. J.H. Gillis Regional High School on Oct. 5, the school entered into a hold-and-secure.

Coordinator of Communications for the Strait Regional Centre for Education (SRCE) Deanna Gillis told The Reporter in a written statement the hold-and-secure was implemented in accordance with their School Emergency Management Plan.

“As a precaution, the school contacted the local RCMP who responded to the school,” Gillis said. “The hold-and-secure lasted approximately 40 minutes after which time the normal school routine resumed.”

Gillis indicated while there was no report of any weapons being brought to the school, these incidents are “taken very seriously” by both the school administration and the RCMP who continue to investigate the alleged threat.

A hold-and-secure is an action taken to restrict access in and out of the building in response to a safety concern external to the school. According to the SRCE’s statement, as part of the hold-and-secure, all students remained indoors and attended classes while the hold-and-secure was in effect.

“Students and staff are to be commended for their excellent cooperation during this situation,” Gillis said. “We also extend thanks to our local RCMP partners for their response and support.”

Following the hold-and-secure, administration at J.H. Gillis sent communication home to families advising them of the incident and the action taken.

“The safety of our students and staff is always our top priority,” Gillis said. “And we will continue to work collaboratively with all SRCE schools to ensure that our students and staff are in safe and secure learning environments.”