All Regina schools in both the public and catholic division have been given the all clear after the buildings had been secured following a “non-specific threat involving schools” received by Regina police.
Police say the call came in at 11:41 a.m. It was a brief call from a male that only said “I’m calling to report a murder at some school.”
“This could be anything from a threat, all the way down to a simple prank and somebody thinking it was funny,” explained Supt. Corey Zaharuk.
It didn’t name a specific school. As a precaution, police advised both school divisions about the threat. All schools in Regina were secured, meaning no one was allowed in or out of the buildings, but activities and classes continue inside.
Regina police say “Secure the Building” is defined as:
- A situation where it is believed a threat is currently outside the building resulting in the decision to secure the school whereby all outside doors will be locked to secure the building.
- Each exterior door is to be monitored by designated school staff until Secure the Building mode has been lifted.
- Entry and exit of the building will be at the front doors only and are to be monitored by police and school administration.
- Regular interior school activities continue in a controlled manner.
The mode was ended around 2:40 p.m.
Supt. Zaharuk explained there was never any confirmed threat and no one was hurt at the schools.
St. Gregory school in the Uplands neighbourhood stayed locked and secured a little longer than all other schools. Police said that’s because they were responding to a report of a man with a gun on Broad Street near Ring Road. They tracked him down and discovered it was only a cell phone.
Some wrong information was also being spread across social media. Police spent the day doing a separate, SWAT-training scenario on Retallack Street and some people were sharing pictures, incorrectly linking it to the school threat.
“We certainly understand the fear that this generates in our community but it’s important to have a balanced view and a balanced understanding of what’s actually happening,” said Supt. Zaharuk.
Police are still working to identify the caller.
Not your average school day
Thousands of parents across Regina have likely had better days than the one they had Wednesday when schools went into secure mode across the entire city. Students, on the other hand, didn’t seem to be overly concerned.
Julie Weisbrodt is a Grade 12 student at Miller Comprehensive High School.
“We weren’t really scared. I was kind of upset I couldn’t go home,” she said, indicating her last class of the day is actually a spare.
She said everybody seemed fine.
Fellow Grade 12 students Kolton Popik and Katie Yung agreed.
“I wasn’t super nervous,” said Popik.
“People thought it was joke and they weren’t scared and they didn’t think it was serious,” explained Yung. “I was kind of nervous but I was OK with it because there wasn’t really a certain suspect or a threat inside the school.”
As the bell rang and kids were let out of St. Gregory Catholic School, they played and laughed as if nothing had ever happened. Their parents didn’t share that sense of indifference.
“I’m terrified. I have one child and he’s my whole world,” stated Jessie Lacoste, who was outside waiting for her boy who’s in Grade 1. “Sick to the stomach right now.”
Jess Kidd stood next to Lacoste, also waiting for her child in Grade 1. She explained how she felt.
“Terrible. Absolutely terrible not being able to protect him. Powerless, like I can’t do anything for him and if something were to happen it would be awful,” Kidd said.
Lacoste said she was hoping for more information sooner from the school board. Maybe then she would have kept her child home after lunch, she said. She admits the whole incident will likely take a while for her to get over.
With files from CJME’s Andrew Shepherd and Kevin Martel.