Rumoured threat at Brampton school prompts police probe
Rachael D'Amore, CTV Toronto
Published Thursday, April 20, 2017 1:14PM EDT
Police in Peel region are investigating a rumoured threat drawn in the boy’s washroom of St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School in Brampton.
The drawing later circulated throughout the school community on social media.
Police confirmed Thursday that he drawing is not credible and that is no threat to public safety.
Parents of students at the school were made aware of the investigation at around midnight, police say.
The school remains open today.
“It basically made reference to a possible shooting on this day, being the 20th,” Peel Regional Police Const. Bancroft Wright told CP24. “Of course because of the serious nature of the threat we stepped it up and went further as far as investigating it.”
In a bulletin posted on the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School principal Rosina Ariganello said the “rumour of a threat” against the school had been circulating since Wednesday.
“I want to stress that we take threats of any kind very seriously, whether intended as pranks or otherwise, and work closely with police authorities to ensure student and staff safety. This includes prosecution to the full extent of the law,” Ariganello wrote.
“Please be assured that we are investigating this matter in conjunction with Peel Regional Police. Police officers will be at our school today as the investigation continues.”
As a result of the perceived threat to the Brampton school, a Tottenham school of a similar name – St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School – also launched an investigation.
That school closed today as a precaution.
“A decision has been made to close St. Thomas Aquinas CSS for the remainder of the day so that police can continue with their investigation,” a spokesperson for the school wrote on its website. “Transportation will be provided as needed.”
Bancroft said he believes the school in Tottenham wasn’t directly connected to the threat but closed as a precaution.
“It’s my understanding that they reacted on the posting, the social media post and the fact that it (the school) carries the same name, they then took it upon themselves to put that school into a lock down,” he said.
Students on lunch break at St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School on Thursday told CP24 that they believe the drawing was of a stick figure holding a gun next to the words “April 20th.”
Bancroft urged the person who drew the image to contact a guidance counsellor.
“Basically this has gotten to the point where there are man-hours and policing that could be devoted elsewhere,” he said.
“If it’s a situation where it’s a prank, or if they’re looking for attention, speak to the guidance counselor and from there the guidance counsellor can speak to us where we can get this rectified.”