A North Delta high school was placed in a “hold and secure” Monday morning (May 10) after a student was reported having a firearm.
In a letter to parents, Seaquam Secondary principle Rick Mesich said school officials learned that a student allegedly had a weapon in his possession at about 10:15 a.m. and immediately placed the school in a “hold and secure” while they contacted Delta police.
The student in question was removed from the classroom without incident and police subsequently recovered and seized a pellet gun.
In an email to Black Press Media, Delta Police spokesperson Cris Leykauf said the pellet gun seized by police looks very similar to a real handgun.
“Police determined that there was no indication the student in question threatened any others,” Leykauf said.
The “hold and secure” was lifted at about 10:40 a.m.
In his letter, Mesich thanked staff and students for their calm and professional approach to the incident, adding the district’s emergency procedures were followed and the situation was resolved in a timely manner.
“We cannot overstate the seriousness of incidents of this nature and how it impacts the climate, culture and safety of students and staff at the school. We need all parents to recognize that weapons of any type, real or imitation, are strictly prohibited on or near school property,” Mesich wrote.
“Bringing such items to school is extremely dangerous as when faced with such an item, the police have to treat it as being real until such time that it can be proven to be a toy or replica.”
Delta police also took the opportunity to remind both students and parents that replica guns or other weapons don’t belong at school or out in public.
“We are aware some youths might think carrying a pellet gun or BB gun could offer them some sort of protection,” Sgt. Ray Athwal, head of the DPD’s School Liaison Officer program, said in an emailed statement to Black Press Media. “This is utterly false, and youths taking this kind of action risk getting drawn into dangerous situations.”
In his letter, Mesich said the school will be using the incident as an opportunity to educate students about the severity of bringing inappropriate items to school.
“This may also be an appropriate opportunity for you as parents/guardians to talk to your child(ren) about the importance of reporting any worrisome or inappropriate activity to a trusted adult at the school. Any such report made is always kept confidential,” Mesich wrote.
According to the district’s emergency procedures, procedures for a “hold and secure” include bringing everyone into the school and remaining inside, securing exterior doors and windows, closing exterior window blinds or drapes (if available), and barring anyone from entering or exiting the school. Normal activities (classes, etc.) typically continue within the school during a “old and secure.”
A “hold and secure” is typically used if there is a security concern in the neighbourhood, while a “lockdown” is used in response to an armed or dangerous assailant within the school.