Social media threat forces early morning safety measures at PECI

Members of the Prince Edward OPP at PECI. (Jason Parks/Gazette File Photo)
Secure and Hold lifted shortly after 8 a.m., youth charged in relation to incident




Students arriving at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute Monday morning were placed in a hold and secure position due to threats made by an individual over social media.

As a result of an investigation, a male youth is in custody and has been charged in relation to the incident although Prince Edward OPP have yet to divulge the exact charges .

There were no injuries to anyone at the school and the security measure was lifted sometime after 8 a.m.

According to Community Safety and Communications Officer Patrick Menard  officers from the detachment responded to a report concerning a social media post that caused PECI to take precautionary measures and temporarily go into a hold and secure response.

Menard said morning drop off was monitored by school staff and police while students entered the school.

“The morning went without incident and the school removed the order a short time later,” Menard said.

Police later arrested and charged a male, 14, from Hallowell with Criminal Code of Canada section 264.1(1) uttering threats – cause death or bodily harm.

The youth will appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Picton on May 13, 2019 to answer to the charge.

“Hold and secure is a response to a threat and/or incident in the general vicinity of a school, but not on or very near to school property,” Menard said. “School life continues as normal inside the school; however, as a precautionary measure, outer doors are locked and no one enters or leaves the building.”

A lockdown is used in a serious emergency situation where the threat is inside a school, on or very near to school property. A lockdown minimizes access and visibility in an effort to shelter students, staff and visitors in secure locations.

Similar to a hold & secure, all outer doors are locked; however a lockdown requires that all students be kept in classrooms or other designated locations and that inner doors also be locked where possible.

Entry to, and exit from, the building is restricted to emergency services personnel only.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 7:30 p.m April 29, 2019 to include comments from Constable Patrick Menard.