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RCMP release name of youth charged in connection with threats to Selkirk-area schools

CBC News with Aimee Morrison 04 December 2018

One of the young people charged with making threats on social media that led to the entire Lord Selkirk School Division being shut down on Monday is scheduled to appear in court in Winnipeg on Tuesday, RCMP say. 

Kingsley Brett Williams, 18, is charged with two counts of uttering threats, RCMP said in a tweet. 

A 16-year-old boy also has been charged with one count of uttering threats, while an 18-year-old woman who was arrested has not been charged.

The initial threat appeared on a social media post on Sunday evening.

Almost 4,000 students attend school in the Lord Selkirk School Division north of Winnipeg, which includes the communities of Lockport, St. Andrews, Clandeboye, Petersfield and Libau and the lakeshore communities of Grand Marais and Victoria Beach.

The students are back in class Tuesday, with extra counsellors on hand for those who need them, and RCMP officers were at Lord Selkirk Regional Comprehensive Secondary School as students entered. 

Selkirk’s Bear Clan, a community safety patrol, also sang and drummed at the school to help students heal.

Nicholas Daum, a Grade 11 student at Lord Selkirk, said the threats left him feeling “a little shaky,” especially after threats earlier this year put the school in lockdown. 

During that incident, he was in the parking lot and hid under a truck with a wrench in his hand, he said. 

“It didn’t happen, but the adrenaline was helping me keep calm,” he said. 

Students could be traumatized, expert says 

Aimee Morrison, a digital media professor at the University of Waterloo, says even though no one was hurt, students may still be traumatized.

“People behave in ways online that seem counterproductive to social goals, and we want to know why. What are the consequences, and how can these things be prevented?” she said.

Although RCMP said they were not looking for any more suspects, the division decided to close all of its schools as a precaution.

“When it comes to safety, you just don’t want to take any chances until we know all of the information from the RCMP,” school division superintendent Michele Polinuk told CBC News on Monday.

The threats came after a 17-year-old student was arrested for bringing a shotgun to the Selkirk school earlier this year.

In that case, Selkirk RCMP were called to the Lord Selkirk Regional Comprehensive Secondary School and found a sawed-off shotgun and bullets in the student’s backpack, court documents say.