Steinbach and Kleefeld schools will be open on Monday, January 30, although students may notice an increased RCMP presence at the schools as they continue to provide support.
“There have been no additional voicemail threats received following Thursday’s voice message,” writes Hanover School Superintendent Shelley Amos in an update on the division’s website. “RCMP have attended and cleared Clearspring Middle School and the SRSS, and nothing suspicious was located. Further to our safety notice issued last week (Jan. 26th), the RCMP continue to take the previous threats seriously and have assigned significant resources to investigate. To date, the RCMP investigation has not revealed any credibility to the threats.”
Amos notes they have been working with RCMP and with Kevin Cameron, Executive Director of the Centre for Trauma Informed Practices (CTIP).
“Kevin is a leading “Subject-Matter Expert” for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response in North America. Resulting from our work with Mr. Cameron, it would appear that the voicemails may be an individual’s attempt at a prank or to instill fear. As a result of this and the RCMP investigation, HSD has made the decision to reopen schools on Monday. The RCMP investigation will remain ongoing.”
Amos acknowledges these threats and unexpected closures may cause anxiety for some children and that counselling support may be necessary.
“Divisional social workers and school counsellors will continue to be available at the affected schools on Monday to provide support as needed. If you require additional support for your child, don’t hesitate to contact your child’s teacher.”
In her Sunday evening update, Amos encourages parents and caregivers to reassure their children that they are safe at school.
“Please be assured that all HSD schools have a student and school safety plan in place, including hold & secure, lockdown, and evacuation procedures and locations. Schools will continue to limit access by only having certain doors open. We also understand that families will choose what is best for their child(ren) and that parents/caregivers may extend their child’s absence. If electing to keep your child(ren) home, please notify the school as per standard absence procedures.”
Last week, RCMP confirmed that the Steinbach detachment had received a 4th call on Thursday afternoon advising of a threat made towards the Clearspring Middle School in Steinbach as well as the Steinbach Regional Secondary School.
This call was very similar to the calls made previously with the same message conveyed and from the same phone number, police reported, adding that the number is of a US origin, but they have yet to ascertain the location of this individual making the calls.
RCMP continues to work with their US partners in identifying the suspect responsible for making these threats.
“In relation to the school closures, the RCMP has been providing updates to the Hanover School Division in order that they may make an informed decision,” stated an RCMP spokesperson.