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Lockdown at Petawawa's Valour School

By Celina Ip

PETAWAWA – A lockdown was issued at Valour School Wednesday morning as OPP investigated a severe online threat made to a student.
On Feb. 28 at approximately 7:30 a.m., the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Upper Ottawa Valley detachment, along with Emergency Response Team, attended Valour JK-12 School to respond to Facebook threats that had been directed to a student attending the school.
By 8 a.m., a hold and secure was put in place as a safety precaution, while the OPP actively began investigating the threat as the Renfrew County District School Board (RCDSB) assisted parents, staff and students.
“The threat was made online to one of our students. I am unable to speak to any details,” said Jonathan Laderoute, communications manager with the RCDSB. “When the hold and secure was put in place we had buses in transit with all of our elementary students. We immediately diverted them to the (Petawawa) Civic Centre where our school staff met them. Parents were contacted directly and were invited to pick them up from that location.”
While all of the elementary students were bused to the secure location at the Civic Centre, secondary students remained at Valour while the RCDSB informed parents that they were permitted to pick up their children at the school.
The school cafeteria was opened up for the secondary students during the lunch period and students were escorted by staff to the cafeteria where they were provided with a free lunch.
With Valour School remaining in a hold and secure, students were only released once their parent or guardian signed in at the main office.
“It’s very disturbing and disappointing that a thing like that would happen but I have to congratulate the OPP and Town of Petawawa staff for moving as quickly as they did,” said Petawawa Mayor Bob Sweet. “And I’m proud of the staff at the Civic Centre and the library for welcoming the kids into a safe and warm environment and keeping them under control until their parents arrived. It was a good job all around and hats off to everyone.”
By 2:30 p.m., the school was taken out of hold and secure following dismissal.
As the situation remains an ongoing active investigation, OPP officers will be on site in the morning as a precaution, while the regular school day resumes.
Further details on the incident have not been released by police.

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