Bomb threat called into Spring Park school in Charlottetown

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Charlottetown police say a bomb threat was called into Spring Park Elementary School Wednesday morning. After a sweep of the school, it was deemed to be a false alarm

A bomb threat called into a Charlottetown elementary school Wednesday morning was deemed a false alarm.

Gary McGuigan, deputy police chief with Charlottetown Police Services, said the call came in at 11:37 a.m. that Spring Park Elementary School had received a threat.

Staff in the school’s administration office received a computerized message indicating there was a bomb in the school.

McGuigan said police responded and spoke with staff which conducted a search of the premises. Nothing was found.

“Nothing unusual, nothing suspicious was found,’’ McGuigan said. “We discussed it with the staff and police came to the conclusion that because of the way it came in as a computerized message with a U.S. area code . . . we deemed the threat was not credible.’’

The same type of computerized message bomb threat occurred in January in Charlottetown at the Jean Canfield federal government building and the Department of Veterans Affairs, both on the same day.

The Charlottetown school wasn’t the only victim of the computerized message hoax on Wednesday. Three schools across New Brunswick also received the same threat, around the same time, as did a high school in Bangor, Maine.

An email went out on Wednesday informing Spring Park school parents of what happened.

“Early today, the school administration received a bomb threat,’’ the email to parents, obtained by The Guardian, read. “Following our district procedure, when the call was received, the school immediately notified the English Language School Board, who then immediately notified city police.’’

Parents were also told police were at the school and advised the school on how to proceed.

“The city police completed a threat assessment and determined there was no threat to students or staff.’’

One Spring Park parent The Guardian talked to said she was upset that neither she or her husband received the email to parents when told by this newspaper late Wednesday afternoon.

Another parent told The Guardian that students were not told about the bomb threat and were not evacuated because police and staff felt there was no danger.

The email from the school concluded by saying the incident is quite alarming.

“So, we want to assure parents that this was a false alarm, and at no time was the safety of students and staff at risk.’’

McGuigan said the last four or five bomb threats in Charlottetown have all been by computerized message dial-outs.

“It’s too bad. It’s the age we live in. People have access and can use that technology for good and bad,’’ the deputy police chief said.

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

 

 

Organizations: Charlottetown Police Services, English Language School Board

Geographic location: Spring Park, Charlottetown, U.S.

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Recent comments

  • Steven
    March 17, 2016 - 07:33

    I'm shocked that they did not evacuate the school immediately. I believe the school board has a policy on this sort of thing but if the policy is to call the school board first and the police second then it must be changed. I'm going to be calling the principal of my kid's school today to check on this.

    • Concerned Dad
      March 17, 2016 - 16:29

      I did email the principal and Minister Currie. No word from Minister Currie yet. The principal shared responsibility with the police and school board. Apparently all three decided to not evacuate. I wonder how long that process took....probably longer than it would take to search the school. Next email is to the police dept.

    • Concerned Dad
      March 17, 2016 - 16:32

      I did email the principal and Minister Currie. No word from Minister Currie yet. The principal shared responsibility with the police and school board. Apparently all three decided to not evacuate. I wonder how long that process took....probably longer than it would take to search the school. Next email is to the police dept.

  • A parent
    March 17, 2016 - 07:19

    Perhaps it could be explained to us what exactly a 'computerized message dial-out' is, and how that absolutely precluded the bomb threat from being an actual threat? If my child is in a building where there is a bomb threat, I would feel much better knowing that he is removed from that building until someone qualified to conduct a search (are the teachers trained to do this?) can guarantee his safety. Basing the level of safety on the last 4 or 5 incidents is, in my opinion, falling into a false sense of security, just when the world is becoming more violent and unpredictable. Taking this laid back approach will only work until our first real tragedy!

    • A parent
      March 17, 2016 - 12:46

      When I said "if my child is in the building", what I should have said "when" because my son was in the school when this happened, saw the police and saw no other activity that was out of the ordinary. It's very unsettling to know that the approach to this was so laid back and 'wait and see' that the kids didn't even notice any out of the ordinary activity. In my opinion, my child was put at risk yesterday.

    • A parent
      March 17, 2016 - 12:46

      When I said "if my child is in the building", what I should have said "when" because my son was in the school when this happened, saw the police and saw no other activity that was out of the ordinary. It's very unsettling to know that the approach to this was so laid back and 'wait and see' that the kids didn't even notice any out of the ordinary activity. In my opinion, my child was put at risk yesterday.

  • matt
    March 17, 2016 - 01:19

    How come some schools were evacuated and others were not? Also scary that this stretched the eastern North American coastal regions. .I'm sorta scared they deemed it not credible because it was a U.S. area code as well. .

  • Daniel
    March 16, 2016 - 22:40

    It boggles my mind as to why this school was not evacuated. A threat (no matter how it is delivered) should still be taken as an immediate threat. There are policies and procedures in place for these type of things. No different from a fire or lockdown.

  • alyssa
    March 16, 2016 - 19:25

    Just because "the last four or five" were false, doesn't mean the sixth one will be. It only takes one real bomb to change the way we look at "threats"

    • don
      March 16, 2016 - 21:07

      how many of our kids could be killed by the city police not knowing a thing about bombs or where they could be put. and to think if this was a bomb scare at wades office you would have the army,police,rcmp,and the building would be cleared but when it comes to our kids nothing is done. i wonder how many places could bomb be put in a school ? and the staff checked it LOL. if my kid was going to this school i would pull him/her out and home school them at least they would be safe.it is time this government wakes up and gets ready for the real thing it is the time of isis and other nuts out there. wade and the police chief if the bomb call was real how many kids would have been killed by you not doing a proper job??

  • don
    March 16, 2016 - 16:38

    i have a question for the school board. when was the staff of this school trained in search for bombs? as it stated "McGuigan said staff at the school did a sweep of the building" God help our kids safety in our schools.