“It has come to our attention that there is concern in the community regarding the possibility of a student coming to school today with a weapon and the intent to do harm,” Ford began in a June 12 letter to parents. (Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash)

Updated: “Crowe as safe today as it was yesterday.”

School District 20 addresses concerns following a student posting photo with a fake gun

“Crowe is as safe today as it was yesterday.”

Those words of calm came from Superintendent Bill Ford early Tuesday for parents with children in School District 20 following a scary situation after school hours on Monday.

It all started when a student, very new to the district, posted a photo of a fake handgun and a questionable comment on social media.

“In this particular incident we had a young student, who’s only been with us for six weeks, post a picture of a replica handgun on Instagram,” Ford told the Times. “And then there was a caption underneath that was of concern.”

From there, social media blew up. Understandably, the picture and words caused much concern for parents.

“As soon as that was reported, the VTRA processes and all the protocols connected to the process were initiated and implemented,” Ford explained.

VTRA (Violence Threat Risk Assessment) is used in all 60 school districts across the province and involves a number of agencies.

“This happened after school,” he continued. “So throughout last evening, school district personnel and other agencies, for example, the RCMP, come into the VTRA when required.”

He says the Trail RCMP were immediately brought into the loop.

“The RCMP have confirmed that the student does not have access to firearms,” Ford said.

“As well, a new rumour this morning (Tuesday), that there was a ‘hit list’ is not true, again confirmed by the RCMP.”

Unfortunately, social media, which is both a blessing and a curse, has taken a situation that was serious and turned it into something blown out of proportion, Ford stressed.

“We take the safety of our students and staff very seriously, and do our utmost to ensure that safety on a daily basis. We never want to under-react to a serious situation, but we also don’t want to overreact.”

What Ford did point out is that the VTRA system worked.

“Staff have been trained in the protocols and they worked their way through it,” he said. “And it was very effective.”

Some families chose to keep their children home from school Tuesday.

“We can’t predict what will occur tomorrow or next week or next year,” Ford concluded. “But we can say that Crowe is as safe today as it was yesterday.

“It is our hope, though, that all students will return to school as soon as possible in order to finish the school year with courses complete and ready for next year.”

Just Posted

Playmor Junction daycare expansion faces opposition

Neighbours upset with rezoning application, citing traffic, noise and concerns about future uses

Commercial repair shop moving to Castlegar

Bill’s Heavy Duty is expanding into a space near the West Kootenay Regional Airport.

Castlegar fire chief pleased with Columbia Ave. emergency vehicle plan

CFD can communicate directly with traffic control personnel through a dedicated radio frequency.

Gas leak not caused by worker error: Marwest

Tuesday’s leak investigated by Marwest and WorkSafeBC

UPDATE: Nelson man who swam naked with sharks arrested

David Weaver, 37, will face mischief and assault charges

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Anti-SOGI school trustee files defamation lawsuit against BCTF president

Barry Neufeld says Glen Hansman’s words caused him “indignity,” “personal harassment,” and “anxiety”

Ocean ‘blob’ returns to B.C.’s North Coast

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

Pot sales down by nearly 70% on Day 2 of legalization in B.C.

Several products on BC Cannabis Store are still sold out

B.C. jury finds man guilty of Japanese exchange student’s murder

Natsumi Kogawa was found at empty heritage mansion shortly after she was reported missing in 2016

Most Read