RCMP notified promptly of Cowichan Valley school death threat incident

Protocols around violent acts in schools were followed after an incident at Drinkwater Elementary School

Protocols around violent acts in schools were followed after an incident at Drinkwater Elementary School last week, according to the superintendent of the Cowichan Valley school district.

Rod Allen said the incident, in which it is alleged that two students tried to stab another with a pair of scissors after one student threatened to kill another several days before, happened on a Wednesday afternoon and the RCMP were informed early Thursday morning after the facts of the matter were determined.

He said the school’s parents were informed as soon as the facts of the incident became clear after student interviews.

Rumours in the community being spread through social media allege that the school failed to contact the police, and the RCMP only got involved days later after being informed by parents, but that’s not the case, Allen said.

“These types of incidents don’t happen often in this community, fortunately, but we always take them as a learning experience when they happen,” Allen said.

“We are now going through a debriefing in which we’re looking at our processes and protocols to determine what, if any, changes that should be made.”

Allen said the two students identified as the perpetrators of the incident have been suspended indefinitely until all the facts of the situation are fully known.

He said the student who was the intended victim was unharmed in the incident and is currently attending school.

Allen said counsellors are available to the student if help is required.

Karen Peterson, principal at Drinkwater, said the school will continue to work through the district’s processes to support all students, families and staff.

Allen said the school and officers from the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment held three “emotionally-charged” meetings earlier this week for concerned parents with approximately 50 people attending.

“The meetings went very well,” he said.

“It gave us the opportunity to clarify the situation and share whatever facts we could with the parents.”

RCMP Cpl. Krista Hobday said the police are no longer investigating the incident “from a criminal perspective.”

“But we will continue to assist the school district with anything they need assistance with on this issue,” she said.