**** RCMP Media Release
What happens when a school is threatened?
Nova Scotia RCMP wants Nova Scotians to know what happens when someone makes a threatening comment about a school.
Police investigate all calls involving threats to a school, even if the information is received through a third party or via social media. In every case, police attempt to get to the source of the information, and work with the school to determine whether the threat is genuine, or if it was a comment that was taken out of context, or not intended to be taken seriously. Police work with the school administration in cases like this to determine the best course of action, taking into account public safety and evaluating the risk.
The RCMP would like Nova Scotians to know that there could be serious criminal consequences to making a threat to a school. Investigating complaints where a false threat was made ties up police and school resources, when they could be better used in other areas. In some cases the school is either put in ‘hold and secure’ or ‘lockdown’ status which is best for student and staff safety, but causes significant worry for students, parents and staff, and disruption to the school day if the threat is determined to be false. In addition, police officers may be taken from other areas in order to assist with the response to these types of calls.
“We have seen an increase lately in complaints of threats to schools that turn out to be unfounded,” says Cpl. Jennifer Clarke of Nova Scotia RCMP. “Our goal is always public safety, and we will thoroughly investigate every call. We want people to understand it’s a significant impact on our resources to respond to these complaints, not to mention the impact it has on everyone involved, if the call is false,” she continues.
To contact police to report information about a threat at a school, call 902-490-5020 in HRM and 800-803-RCMP anywhere in Nova Scotia. If it’s an emergency, call 911.