Students at Bentley schools did not expect their school day on Monday to end with police officers escorting them to the arena so they could catch their respective buses and go home, but, as it turns out, that’s exactly what happened.
Principal Lane Moore said there was a security threat made towards Bentley School at 2:30 p.m. on Mon., Dec. 7.
Larry Jacobs, Superintendent of Wolf Creek Schools, said the phone call was made by someone who had received notification of the security threat through Facebook.
“My understanding that it was a threat against the school building itself,” said Jacobs “It was a second hand phone call,” he added.
Cpl. Kevin Halwa from the Sylvan Lake RCMP said the police haven’t been able to track down the person who made the phone call.
“That portion is still under investigation,” he said. “It is an uphill battle,” he added.
Once the phone call was received the administration team at the school followed Wolf Creek’s emergency response protocol and initiated a hold and secure protocol with staff and students.
“Hold and secure does not allow students, parents or staff to enter or exit the school,” said Moore. “RCMP and Wolf Creek School Division were notified and upon arrival they secured the scene and evacuated both buildings at a secure location.”
“It was handled extremely well, very efficiently,” said Jacobs.
Once the buildings were evacuated, RCMP searched the schools.
“After the controlled evacuation we searched the school, but found nothing suspicious,” said Cpl. Halwa.
School buses parked at the Bentley arena and waiting parents picked students up about half an hour later than their usual scheduled pick up time.
Wolf Creek staff and Victim Services were on hand at the school, Tuesday, to answer any questions.
“The safety of our students is our top priority and we take these situations very seriously. We hope that everyone understands the need for this type of response to a threat made against our school,” said Moore.
Sylvan Lake RCMP were assisted by Rimbey RCMP and Rocky Mountain House RCMP who were in the area at the time also helped out. Staff from Lacombe County helped out with traffic control.
Cpl. Halwa said the incident is not cause for alarm and he doesn’t see a need for increased security at the school because of it.
“If I had kids going to either school, I would have no problem sending them there.”