A youth was arrested Monday, May 22 after a social media post alluded to a possible threat to Whistler Secondary School (WSS).
“The threat was a comment made through a social media platform, and insinuated the potential for a harmful event at the school may occur on Tuesday,” wrote Whistler RCMP Cpl. Darren Durnin in a statement.
“As a result of the police investigation, the Whistler RCMP are (sic) satisfied there is no threat related to the information received.”
Pique has received two unconfirmed reports that the post to multimedia mobile app Snapchat was a photo showing a current student holding what appeared to be a gun and warning others not to attend class the following day. School District 48 Superintendent Lisa McCullough said the post didn’t “necessarily” involve a gun. “I think that would be a matter of interpretation,” she said.
By Monday evening, officials determined the situation was under control and the school opened the next day as usual. Several officers were on school grounds that morning “out of an abundance of caution,” Durnin said in a follow-up interview.
Although students were informed of the possible threat in the morning, parents weren’t officially notified until just after 2 p.m., hours after Pique had requested further information from the school.
“There simply wasn’t something that anyone was prepared to send home (Monday) evening until we could work through all of the pieces. And then, today (May 23), we simply got the letter out as soon as we were able to after meeting with staff and taking the steps we felt we needed to do here,” McCullough explained.
Parent Advisory Committee co-chair Leslie Scott said she was satisfied with how the threat was handled.
“I don’t think we would’ve been walking into a dangerous situation, because if (officials) truly felt it was even remotely dangerous, I think there would’ve been a letter (earlier),” she said. Scott added that notifying parents first thing Tuesday morning might have created unnecessary “panic.”
"I hope (the suspect) gets the help (they) need," she added.
McCullough said the incident is a chance for parents to start a dialogue about social media, particularly at a time of year when many students are feeling added stress with exams looming.
“Take the time as parents to check in with our students in terms of how they’re using social media,” she said. “Are we aware of what they’re doing with social media, the kinds of sites they’re on, the conversations they’re having? I think I would just reach out to parents and say it’s important that we’re connecting with our students on this.”
Support services are available for any students who may need them, McCullough added.
Crown counsel will now determine if any criminal charges will be laid. All parties involved have been cooperative with police, according to RCMP.
Large rock thrown through front doors of Meadow Park Sports Centre
Whistler RCMP is investigating an act of mischief from this weekend after a large rock was thrown through the front doors of the Meadow Park Sports Centre.
Police said staff working at the athletic complex at around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 20 heard “someone yelling then glass smashing.” They soon discovered a window in each front entry door had been smashed along with a display case at reception. No one was injured.
Police are asking anyone with information to contact the detachment at 604-932-3044 or Sea to Sky Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.