Students at Spectrum school in Saanich evacuated over bomb threat

WatchA bomb threat resulted in the evacuation of Spectrum Community School this morning. Classes will be back on Wednesday, but today's threat resulted in more than 1,200 students and staff out in the cold while police searched the school. Mary Griffin reports.  

Spectrum Community School was evacuated Tuesday morning due to a bomb threat.

Police said at approximately 10:20 a.m., they were called to a potential threat at Spectrum Community School.

The Greater Victoria School District, SD 61, sent out a tweet at 10:43 am saying that the secondary school, located on Burnside Road West, was being evacuated for a ‘potential threat,’ but it was precautionary.

In an update at 11:20 a.m., the school district said the school was evacuated due to a threat and police are at the school assessing the threat.

Police arrived on the scene, including members of the explosive detection unit, while the 1,200 students and staff left the school around 10:20 a.m.

Students in neighbouring schools, St. Joseph’s Catholic Elementary School and Marigold Elementary School, were placed on lockdown. This is the first threat in five years for the Greater Victoria School District.

Students had been dismissed early. Those who could not make their own way home were being supervised at Marigold Elementary until a parent or guardian can pick them up. Third Wave and Garden City busing was operating as usual for afternoon drop off but parents could come to Marigold Elementary prior to pickup time.

Just after 2:30 p.m., School District 61 sent out a note to families saying there was a bomb threat made to the school.

“The threat did not target an individual but rather the school as a whole. As a precaution, police were called and the decision was made to evacuate the school and send students and staff home,” the school district said.

According to the school district, police have searched the school and have deemed it safe. The school will open as usual tomorrow.

Counselling is available for students if required, School District 61 said.

Police said they are still investigating the threat.

Detective Sgt. Damian Kowalewich with Saanich police said anytime a threat to students occurs, they have no choice but to take it seriously.

“Every threat is different. and this situation we’re dealing with a bomb threat.  So we have to take certain measures to ensure that the school is safe for students and staff to return to, and people in the surrounding area,” Kowalewich said.

Police said if a suspect is identified, they could face charges of mischief and uttering threats.



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