Princess Margaret Secondary School Principal Roger Wiebe sent a letter to parents to notify them of “unconfirmed information” that non-students may attend the annual sunset party, potentially making “an unsafe environment involving weapons.” Photo courtesy Google Street View

UPDATED: Penticton RCMP warns of threat to high school students’ sunset party

‘I am shocked that some parents even drive their children to this party,’ RCMP Supt. Ted De Jager says

UPDATE: 4:30 p.m.

A youth has reportedly made “veiled threats to cause problems” at the annual sunset party, being held tonight, according to Penticton RCMP Supt. Ted De Jager.

“The nature of the threats varied, so I cannot comment on specifics, only to say that this was immediately assigned to an investigator and remains under investigation, which includes direct interaction with the youths involved,” De Jager said.

De Jager noted that the “infamous” sunset party, an unofficial graduation party that occurs each year, is not endorsed by the school district, public service agencies or the RCMP.

“In fact, I would like to take this opportunity to advise parents of high school age children that this party is a very dangerous undertaking. The location is purposefully remote, is out of range of most emergency services and is a sensitive area prone to risk of fire damage,” De Jager said.

Over the past several years, on top of a fatal stabbing at the party in 2011, De Jager noted the party has been host to “several aggravated assaults, sexual assaults, numerous fights and assaults and high levels of intoxication in under age youth.”

Jamie Wolanski pleaded guilty to manslaughter, the lesser count to his initial murder charge, and was sentenced to six years in prison in 2013.

“I am shocked that some parents even drive their children to this party and offer their tacit approval to these activities. Many of the attendees are over 19 years of age, are no longer associated to high school and provide liquor to youth in attendance,” De Jager said.

“The Penticton RCMP endorses dry grad parties and ceremonies. The legal drinking age in B.C. is 19. Anyone who provides liquor to those under 19 years of age commits an offence and could be held liable in criminal or civil proceedings.”

—-

ORIGINAL: 3 p.m.

Penticton RCMP sent a warning to Princess Margaret Secondary School over apparent threats against the students’ annual sunset party, according to a letter to parents from the school’s principal.

In the letter, Roger Wiebe told parents the school received contact from police regarding “unconfirmed information that non-high school students plan to attend the event and that may create an unsafe environment involving weapons.”

“The school sees the party as a community/non-school event but felt it is important that you are aware of the potential danger to your child. Community partnership is important in ensuring we collectively maintain a safe environment for all,” Wiebe wrote.

In a statement, school district Superintendent Wendy Hyer had little to say, due to the fact that the allegations surround non-students, only relaying the letter sent by Wiebe.

“I cannot confirm that a threat has been made; this is something that the police are investigating. As always, we caution parents about letting their children attend this event as there have been various safety concerns over the past years as many of the folks who attend are not graduates, but older individuals,” Hyer said.

Penticton RCMP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The unsanctioned annual event, which takes place in the Upper Carmi area each year after the school year, has been the site of significant violence over the years.

Jamie Wolanski was sentenced in 2013 to six years in prison for manslaughter after the fatal stabbing of Andrew McAdam in 2011.

And in January this year, Aaron Jack-Kroeger was sentenced to 15 months in jail on charges of assault causing bodily harm for his part in a swarm attack on a peer at the 2015 sunset party.

That attack had left the victim with a significant concussion and about $5,000 in dental work.

Just Posted

Another Kelowna club bites the dust

Level nightclub will be closing

Kelowna weather: Grey days return

The sun will be hiding behind the clouds for the next few days

Okanagan film industry brings in $32 million

Business is brisk in the Okanagan

Nomination date set for Kelowna- Lake Country Conservatives

March 2 is the deadline for anyone who wants to run for the federal nomination

Rutland pride spills over

Reaction to a story this weekend was clear and worth a second read

Mermen calendar targets ‘toxic masculinity,’ raises big money for charities

Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club gave a cheque for more than $202,000 to Violence Prevention NL

UPDATED: ‘Violent’ B.C. man back in custody after Alberta arrest

Prince George man with ties to Vernon was being sought by police

After a week away, SNC-Lavalin questions await MPs returning to Parliament

Two have resigned already: Jody Wilson-Raybould was veterans affairs minister and Gerald Butts was Trudeau’s principal secretary

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

Chanel: Iconic couturier Karl Lagerfeld has died

He spent virtually his entire career at luxury labels catering to the very wealthy

Interior Health on high alert for possible measles cases

No reports of the disease yet, but regular travel to the Coast could bring measles to the Interior

B.C. father and sons launch new trunk-sharing system, ‘Trunkit’

Smiths say peer-to-peer shipping service offers an affordable, green alternative

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Most Read