Parents, students react after bomb threat targets Nanaimo elementary school


Parents and students are talking about a scary ordeal after they were informed about a bomb threat against Park Avenue Elementary. Skye Ryan reports. 

It was a frightening ordeal at a Nanaimo elementary school Wednesday after a bomb threat led to an evacuation and hundreds of young students were moved to a nearby high school.

  RCMP are investigating after a threat was found on a back door of Park Avenue Elementary once children were already inside their classes.

 Marcella McMain picked up her kids early Wednesday after a scary experience for parents and children alike at their Nanaimo elementary school.

I don’t know what someone was thinking,” McMain, a mother of three, said. 

“Yeah it’s unnerving. You don’t expect this at an elementary school. Not at all,” Nanaimo mother Deedee Woodward said. 

The incident happened around 9 a.m. Wednesday morning at Park Avenue Community School in the city’s south end, after kids had already been dropped off and were starting their classes.

READ MORE: Nanaimo elementary school evacuated due to non-credible threat

“They said that there was a note left on one of the outside doors that there was a bomb threat,” McMain said. 

“It was a bit scary because all I was doing was going to my backpack and then someone said get out of the school it’s a lockdown drill,” 10-year-old student Keegan Shields said.

“Then we had to get outside and we were waiting out there for a half-an-hour and we had to get out of the school. It was a bit scary.”

Assistant Superintendent for School District 68 Bob Islinger says the incident was immediately treated very seriously.

“I don’t remember the last time we dealt with this kind of a threat at an elementary school,” Islinger said.

Holding hands two by two, the approximately 340 students were walked out of the school and for blocks through south Nanaimo to be housed at John Barsby Secondary School as the situation and threat were assessed.

RCMP swept the building as emails went out to parents about the unfolding event.

“I talked to my boss and said I have to go they’ve evacuated my son’s school and they’ve moved him to another school,” Woodward said. “It just seems like it lends a little more credibility or

“It just seems like it lends a little more credibility or fear when they’re actually moving them to another school.”

Then parents across Nanaimo scrambled to get to their kids.

“As a parent, it’s terrifying because you don’t know if it’s legitimate or not,” Woodward said. 

 Hours later, the RCMP search of the school revealed there was no threat to students inside and the children were allowed to return. Though many parents decided to keep them home, rattled by the bomb threat. 

One that parents will have to talk over tonight with the many kids who were affected by it.

“I just talked to him and told him that it turned out to be a really bad prank. You know somebody maybe thought they were being funny and was very upsetting to a lot of people,” Woodward said.

“I guess get them to talk about how it makes them feel,” McMain said.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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