The Kamloops-Thompson school district is looking at a number of options, including the installation of surveillance cameras outside schools, following a rash of unfounded threats that have disrupted numerous classes this month.
Seven threats have been made against various Kamloops schools since Sept. 10, with police arresting two people — an 18-year-old man and a male youth.
Four threats came in the form of words spray painted on the walls of schools, referring to a “bomb.” Two threats were made on the social media app Snapchat and one threat was made via phone.
Kamloops-Thompson school board chair Kathleen Karpuk told KTW last week that she anticipated trustees would discuss school security at an in-camera session on Monday in Sun Peaks.
“This takes an incredible amount of resources away from the education of our students. It has a huge impact on our students ability to feel safe in their schools,” she said.
Last week, assistant superintendent Rob Schoen also told media the possibility of adding surveillance cameras would be discussed by the district.
SD73’s communications manager Diana Skoglund said she couldn’t disclose whether the issue was in fact discussed at the in-camera meeting on Monday, but she did confirm the school district is looking into how to address the issue.
She said she wasn’t aware of any additional threats being made against area schools on Monday or Tuesday.
The latest threats occurred last Friday morning, when someone called in a bomb threat to Sa-Hali secondary. That afternoon police arrested an 18-year-old man. Also on Friday morning, someone spray painted a threat at Dallas elementary, forcing students and staff to be barred from the school while the RCMP investigated.
Kamloops Christian School was closed on Thursday, Sept. 19, on the recommendation of the RCMP, which arrested a male youth after receiving a tip from Interpol about a threat made against the school. The tip was based on a social media post on Snapchat that showed a youth holding two pistols with a threatening caption, police said.
On Wednesday, Sept. 18, students and staff were barred from Sa-Hali secondary while police investigated after the words “there is a bomb” was found spray painted on the side of the building.
Police were on scene until about noon and classes didn’t resume until 1:40 p.m.
Someone scrawled the words “find the bomb” on a wall at Valleyview secondary on Friday, Sept. 13, but students remained in class while police investigated.
On the weekend of Sept. 14 and Sept. 15, more threatening graffiti was discovered, this time at Marion Schilling elementary in Valleyview.
On Tuesday, Sept. 10, a Sa-Hali secondary student received a visit from Kamloops Mounties after she posted a message on the social media app Snapchat, threatening her school. The student was not charged.
Anyone with information regarding these threats is asked to contact the Kamloops RCMP at 250-828-3000.