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King City Secondary School half empty after possible gun threats on social media

York Regional Police present at high school after unsubstantiated threats, perhaps involving gun, made on Snapchat
April 4, 2018
By Jeremy Grimaldi

Parents and students have been left shaken by a possible threat against King City Secondary School made on Snapchat, leaving the school partially empty the morning of April 4.

At least one mother is criticizing York Region District School Board for its handling of the unsubstantiated social-media threats, which York Regional Police says have been investigated and cleared.

On Twitter the night of April 3, two parents agreed that communication with families by the school board was substandard, considering the level of perceived threat, and would likely cause several students not to show up to class April 4.

"Last night a rumour was circulating that one kids threatened another kid w a gun today at school," wrote Melissa Goodman. "Apparently police where involved last night but no one provided the parents or students with updates so last night the students decided for their safety to stay home."

The school board only responded at 6 a.m. with a "generic message", she said.

"We all said if there is no email tonight we are not comfortable sending our children," she added. "So ... I personally would have liked to have read a comforting email last night. When we didn't alarms went off and kids slept in."

An office worker at the school the morning of April 4 said many of the students are not in attendance and agreed that, although it varies by class, about half of the school was absent.

However, she noted all the teachers were at the school and classes were proceeding as usual.

"Knowing the police are here helps," she added, explaining officers were in attendance to put people's minds at ease.

YRDSB representatives said they were unable to contact parents while police were investigating, as they didn't have viable information and got in touch as quickly as they could considering the threat was received after school hours April 3.

"We can only share information when we have it," said corporate communication manager Christina Choo-Hum. "We followed protocol."

York police Const. Laura Nicolle said there were "rumours" on social media that were investigated.

"It was found there was no threat to the safety of the school," she said, explaining there were no arrests. "Everyone involved was spoken to and dealt with."