Bomb threat called into Spring Park school in Charlottetown

Published on March 16, 2016

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

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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