RCMP conclude investigation into Okotoks school threat
Source of threat identified and classes will resume Friday
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RCMP say there was no real danger and no charges will be laid after a student overheard possible threats against a school in Okotoks on Wednesday.
Classes will resume on Friday as usual, but the school is promising extra security as a precaution.
Police had a heavy presence around the Ecole Okotoks Junior High School early Thursday morning, including the RCMP canine unit doing a perimeter and interior search of the building.
RCMP spokesman Cpl. Curtis Peters said they were made aware of the apparent threat around 4:40 p.m. Wednesday, after a student informed the school's principal of a conversation that was overheard among other students.
After consultation with the RCMP, the Foothills School Division determined that it was in the best interest for the safety of students and staff to close the school.
"You'll see additional officers making patrols and you'll see them out and about in town, but the nature of the threat was specific to this particular school. We don't have any reason to believe the threat extends to other schools in the area."
At 7:15 p.m. Thursday, the school announced on its website that the source of the threat had been found.
"The RCMP has identified and interviewed the involved students and determined that while the conversations did take place, there was no plan and no intent to carry out the acts," read the statement. "For these reasons, no criminal charges will be laid in this case. The identities of the young persons involved will not be released."
Foothills School Division (FSD) superintendent John Bailey said in deciding to close, they were taking the safety of students and staff very seriously.
"It was out of an abundance of caution that we decided to close the school," Bailey told reporters at a news conference Thursday.
He said in his two-and-a-half-year tenure with FSD he's not seen another threat like this come up. Nothing prior to yesterday's notification raised a red flag with the school, Bailey said.