A message found scrawled on a bathroom stall door that threatened a school shooting prompted the dismissal of students and staff at Oak Bay High on Wednesday.
The message indicated that someone was going to bring a gun to the school at 2 p.m. and start shooting, police said in a news release. The message was found written on a stall door in a girls’ washroom at around 10:30 a.m.
“Police officers discussed the threat with school officials and out of an abundance of caution they decided that students would be dismissed from school when they returned from lunch just prior to 1 p.m.,” Oak Bay Police said.
Three police vehicles could be seen in front of the high school Wednesday afternoon as officers investigated the threat. Oak Bay Police say there’s no evidence that anyone at any point in time had a firearm at the school.
“It’s a very serious threat to make, obviously, and it has a huge impact on safety and on students and the community’s sense of safety, so we take it very seriously,” said Oak Bay Police Chief Mark Fisher.
Students were left confused at first, then shocked when they heard what had happened.
“It’s like a school shooting it’s like a big thing, I really didn’t think anything was going to happen but it’s still a big threat to a school,” said Grade 9 student Eva Parrott.
The district confirmed just after 4 p.m. that students and staff were cleared to return to the school Thursday with classes resuming as usual.
“Out of an abundance of caution, this is why we released students early and staff as well,” said SD 61 Supt. Deb Whitten. “Oak Bay Police will conduct an investigation, so it’s better to be able to do that this afternoon and evening and for students to be at home.”
A police school liaison is expected to be present at the school Thursday as the investigation into who left the threat continues.
Oak Bay Police have confirmed that all students and staff can return to school tomorrow. Classes will resume as usual. For more information on today's incident, please visit: https://t.co/55vrDd9f9H #sd61learn @OakBayPolice https://t.co/uyV4ZZtbOy
— Greater Victoria SD (@sd61schools) December 1, 2022