April 9th, 2018
Dear Parents, Guardians and Caregivers,
As many students, parents and guardians are aware, over these last few weeks, many threats have been made against a number of schools within the Waterloo Region District School Board and across the province. These threats have been issued by persons leaving behind inappropriate messages in a variety of school locations and on social media. These threats have been used to inspire a feeling of unease and fear. The unfortunate decision by individuals to deliberately harass and intimidate others is an abuse of social media and an erosion of personal safety and trust.
We want to reassure you that the security of the students and staff is the top priority of all schools, each and every day. Waterloo Region District School Board and Waterloo Regional Police Service are working together to investigate these threats and keep our schools safe, caring and inclusive spaces to learn and work. All schools in the Waterloo Region District School Board are aware of these threats and are taking them into account as they go through their daily routines, including monitoring access to their sites and following security and emergency response protocols to safeguard our school communities.
At this time, we have no reason to believe that any of these threats are credible. However, we will continue to work together and monitor individual situations as they arise. No matter the intention, we take any intimidation or threat of violence seriously and the authors of these threats need to understand that they will be held accountable.
As we identify the individuals, or groups of individuals, responsible for these threatening remarks, they are subject to consequences and progressive discipline that may result in:
- arrest and criminal charges and;
- suspension or expulsion from school
Our students have the right to learn in a safe environment without fear. Students are encouraged to speak with a trusted adult including a teacher, Educational Assistants, Child and Youth Worker, school administration or a school Guidance Counsellor regarding their concerns.
We would ask that parents, guardians and caregivers have a conversation with their child(ren) to discuss the impact of these actions on their school community and the anxiety this creates for others. Students should be reminded that inappropriate behaviour will not be taken lightly and a school disciplinary and criminal response will be taken.
If parents, guardians or students become aware of a threat, they should contact the police and inform their school principal immediately. You can also report information related to these threats to Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.
Please be assured that every precaution is being taken to ensure the safety of students and staff. We thank you for your continued diligence and support.
Chief Bryan Larkin
Waterloo Regional Police Service
John Bryant, Director of Education
Waterloo Region District School Board