Threatening messages found at local high schools
The Waterloo Regional Police Service is investigating five threats to local high schools in the Kitchener-Waterloo region community.
Last week the threats began at Huron Heights Secondary School in Kitchener, when a threatening graffiti message was written on a bathroom stall in the Women’s washroom that a shooting would occur.
The threat was followed by four more similar cases at Cameron Heights Collegiate in Kitchener, Glenview Park Secondary School in Cambridge, and most recently Eastwood Collegiate Institute in Kitchener and Jacob Hespeler Secondary School in Cambridge this week. These similar cases that followed are believed to be copycats following the first threat at Huron Heights.
“In any event, we take it very seriously and we respond and investigate each case very thoroughly,” Cherri Greeno, media relations coordinator for Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) said.
The police and detectives for WRPS are currently investigating these local threats to determine the author of the message and the validity behind it.
“In each case, notes were written most on bathroom stalls threatening a shooting to occur at the schools on different dates,” Greeno said.
“With social media we know that information is circulating, people are talking, and we do think people know who is behind this and we’re asking they come forward to us.”
Cameron Heights was put in a hold and secure position while the police investigated at about 9:40 a.m. last Tuesday.
According to The Record, acting Staff Sgt. Scott Sharpe said there was no immediate threat, but police were at the school for several hours.
No suspects have been identified yet and police are asking anyone who has information to come forward to police, staff, parents or anonymously through crime stoppers.
“These are threats made against students and young people in our community who are going to school, they’re going to a place to learn and receive an education and they should have the right to do that and face an enjoyable environment,” Greeno said. “Whoever is behind these notes, whether it’s a joke at the time, it’s certainly not a joke to [the police], students they share the school with, parents, or the community in general.”
The recent threats have cultivated an environment of fear at all schools and the surrounding community in the KW region.
“It’s not acceptable and it will be investigated and there are serious consequences that could arise from it,” Greeno said.
This is the second threat at Cameron Heights Collegiate this year as another threat occurred in February, when a student male under the age of 18 was caught on video and charged with uttering threats to cause bodily harm or death..
“It’s a significant drain on our police resources because while officers are investigating this that takes time away from other investigations and other emergency calls that may require emergency police assistance,” Greeno said.
Police are asking students who may have any information to come forward with any information they may have.
“With social media we know that information is circulating, people are talking, and we do think people know who is behind this and we’re asking they come forward to us,” Greeno said.
“[Students] can also [report] an anonymous tip through crime stoppers, to somebody they feel comfortable around whether it’s staff, parents or a police officer,” Greeno said.