“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

Controversy at RDCK over funding for Castlegar vote

Education group that got $10,000 is really an advocacy group

Castlegar Complex referendum vote this week

Two sides far apart as vote looms. Small group of rural voters may determine outcome of project.

Country music headed for Castlegar

Kootenay Country Music Festival July 6-8 to feature Brett Kissel, Washboard Union and Emerson Drive.

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

Splashing way to fight cancer!

Stanley Humphries school hosts Relay for Life

SLIDESHOW: Castlegar grad celebrations

Stanley Humphries Secondary School said congratulations to the Class of 2018.

Rescued Oregon family simply unprepared for adventure, RCMP say

Agencies now helping the group of four get to their destination in Alaska

Large B.C. tree dies after possible poisoning

Police and District investigate after large chestnut tree’s rapid decline

Canucks release 2018-19 season schedule

Vancouver to face Calgary Flames on Wednesday, Oct. 3, for home opener

VIDEO: Luxury Home and Design Show opens with Italian flare

Event set to run Friday to Sunday at BC Place in Vancouver

Small new charge on BC Hydro bills goes toward new crisis fund

The new fund aims to help customers who find themselves in financial emergencies

Fake cops ‘arrest’ woman, steal $6,000 in latest CRA scam

Vancouver police urge people not take calls from anyone saying they’re from the Canada Revenue Agency

Study shows increase in mountain bike tourism in B.C.

Numbers are up, way up, for bike-related visits to the province

Most Read