School Open - Ecole Okotoks Junior High School
UPDATE: Friday March 10, 2017 - 2:45pm
We understand and respect that events this week have caused some concern and many questions. We want to assure you that our students are safe and supported as they return to school. We appreciate the level of trust that is required in sending your children to our care and we want you to know that as educators and parents ourselves, we take that responsibility very seriously.
Regarding the recent situation, we have utilized both school system disciplinary recourses and the juvenile justice system through the RCMP. Please be aware that while the criminal investigation did not warrant charges to be laid, there will be consequences levied at the school level. Legislation prevents us from releasing specific details but be assured that actions within our mandate will be taken against those involved.
We want to thank those parents and students who have provided RCMP officers with the information necessary to investigate and bring closure to the incident. Only by working as a school community in partnership with students, parents and law enforcement can we create and maintain the level of safety that we want for our children.
UPDATE: Thursday March 9, 2017 - 7:15pm
Okotoks RCMP have concluded their investigation into a threat which resulted in today's closure of an École Okotoks Junior High School. After completing numerous interviews with students and parents, the Okotoks RCMP General Investigation Section has identified the source of the threat.
A student of École Okotoks Junior High overheard a conversation between other students after school on March 8, during which statements were made about carrying out an act of violence at the school on March 9. The RCMP has identified and interviewed the involved students and determined that while the conversations did take place, there was no plan and no intent to carry out the acts. For these reasons, no criminal charges will be laid in this case. The identities of the young persons involved will not be released.
With this information FSD leadership, in partnership with the RCMP, have made the decision to re-open École Okotoks Junior High School effective Friday, March 10, 2017.
Mr. John Bailey, Superintendent of Schools for Foothills School Division said, “School will be open tomorrow; classes will be conducted as usual. Increased security will be in place. Counsellors, administrative staff, and extra supports will be available to assist students who may require it. I would personally like to thank parents for their support and trust as we have navigated this situation.”
We want to assure you that your child's safety continues to remain our top priority.
UPDATE: Thursday March 9, 2017 - 12:45pm
The Okotoks RCMP continues to investigate this threat and the school remains closed until the investigation is complete. All FSD parents/guardians will be notified through an automated system when more information becomes available. We thank you for your patience as we continue to work in partnership with the law enforcement to maintain a safe learning atmosphere in our schools.
UPDATE: Thurdsay March 9, 2017 - 5:30am
The Okotoks RCMP Detachment in conjunction with its General Investigation Section treats all cases of threats seriously and continues to investigate. RCMP has informed us that there is no potential threat to students or staff located at other area schools and these sites will remain open. Foothills School Division continues to exercise extreme diligence and an abundance of caution.
On Wednesday March 8, 2017, Foothills School Division (FSD) was made aware of a threat against École Okotoks Junior High School.
Upon learning of the threat, FSD administrators immediately reported this to the Okotoks RCMP detachment. Based on our communication with local law enforcement, FSD decided to close École Okotoks Junior High School to students as a precaution until RCMP had further time to complete an investigation. The school is expected to remain closed for the duration of Thursday March 9, 2017.
We understand situations such as this are concerning to parents, students, and the greater community. We want you to be aware that the administration of Foothills School Division has exercised extreme diligence and an abundance of caution.
We will continue to work in partnership with law enforcement to maintain a safe learning atmosphere in all schools.
Due to the fact that this is now in the hands of law enforcement, we cannot comment on the matter. We ask for your patience as we strive to respect the confidentiality of those involved as well as the integrity of the investigation.
If you have any information about this incident, please contact the RCMP at 403-938-4202. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or by internet at www.tipsubmit.com.
For further information please follow us on Twitter @FSD38 or contact:
Foothills School Division, Communications Manager