A Salmon Arm Secondary student who was arrested over threats on social media is now facing charges.
Dan McLaughlin, communications counsel for the BC Prosecution Service, confirms that the young person has been charged with one count of uttering threats.
The charge revolves around tweets on social media alleged to have been made by the young person which included references to shooting students.
“There is no danger to students at this juncture,” said Staff Sgt. Scott West of the Salmon Arm RCMP following the arrest of the student on the morning of Thursday, June 14 as he arrived at school. He had no weapons in his possession, police said.
West also noted the youth was being supervised by a youth probation officer.
“As a result of this particular incident there is no concern for safety, and we’re monitoring, as is the bail supervisor, very closely.”
Following the arrest, school officials said the incident was being taken seriously and the school district was following safety protocols.
Peter Jory, superintendent of School District 83, stated that counselling supports were being provided for students, which included in this case bringing in additional counsellors, including therapy dogs.
“All worrisome behaviour and various forms of threat making behaviour is taken seriously and addressed through the established district policies and protocols… Depending upon the level of severity of each situation and the needs of a student, we work with our various partners to respond appropriately to the range of concerns.”
Jory also addressed the role of parents.
“Parents and guardians are key partners in creating safe, caring, and orderly schools. Monitoring their child’s social media use is very important. One of the most encouraging trends we are seeing across North America is a willingness to report worrisome behaviours to school authorities. We share with our students and staff regularly information around social media use, digital citizenship, and what types of worrisome behaviours require our attention, including social media posts.
“A safe learning environment and overall student safety is the top priority for the school district.”
The youth charged has already appeared in court but his appearance was adjourned in order to allow him to consult a lawyer.