On Feb. 2 there was a threat at Stephenville High School, resulting in a lockdown.
On the same day an adult resident of Stephenville was arrested and questioned in relation to the incident but was released after questioning without any charges laid.
Last Thursday, nearly three weeks to the day of when the incident happened, the Bay St. George RCMP issued a press release stating that a school in the Bay St. George area where there was a threat now appears to be the result of people sharing a social media post originating in the United States.
Police are now asking people not to share such social media posts to prevent a similar incident from happening again.
Cpl. John Butler said the threat was believed to have been aimed at a school in Ohio, which had the same initials as the school in Bay St. George. He said the threat did not come straight to the school but fanned out through social media posts.
He also said authorities at the school it was meant for in the United States dealt with it and nobody was hurt.
Good to hear.
But somewhere along the way a local person ended up with a forwarded message and seeing the initials of the school took it to mean the school in this area was under threat and alerted the authorities, resulting in the threat plan being put into action.
It did cause some anxiety for students and teachers at the school believing that there could be a shooter in their school.
With 17 people killed and more than 15 injured in a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14, it once again brings the possibility of this happening anywhere.
While Canada, and certainly Newfoundland and Labrador, is not known for violence and gun attacks it’s still not out of the realm of possibility.
It seems that on that particular day when there was a threat at Stephenville High in the end, while it looked a little extreme having RCMP officers around the school with assault rifles, students felt safer.
It’s doubtful that they would have been if their teachers were packing weapons as U.S. President Donald Trump suggested doing in the United States last week as a solution to the school attacks problem they have there.
We’re good. We’ll leave it to the police to come when called upon.
Hopefully, people will heed the warnings and not be forwarding messages that only have initials of a school that’s under threat of a possible attack. Sometimes social media can breed fear where it’s undue.