The Revelstoke School District superintendent is pleased with the way the community responded after a Columbia Park Elementary student was approached by a stranger on her way to school Dec. 18.
“The RCMP reacted really well,” said superintendent Mike Hooker during a Dec. 20 school board meeting. “They came right to the school, interviewed the student, got some more information and then a little bit of canvassing in the neighbourhood.”
Hooker said the district spent most of the day trying to decide what, if anything should be shared with the community. His main concern was trying to reduce the anxiety felt by parents and students.
Around 2 p.m., he said they decided on a “conservative approach.”
All four of the schools in the district – Begbie View Elementary, Arrow Heights Elementary, Columbia Park Elementary and Revelstoke Secondary School – had a delayed dismissal.
“We basically said at each of the schools that nobody is leaving without contact home or a plan,” said Hooker.
A letter was sent home with students as well.
Letter Home from RSS regarding student safety after school today. pic.twitter.com/uLoUp4l8T5
— RSS (@RevelstokeSec) December 18, 2017
“We didn’t really have a protocol for that kind of dismissal,” said Hooker. “But kudos to staff, it worked beautifully.”
Hooker said lots of phone calls were made as students planned their way home. Students on bus routes were given door-to-door service.
The school district is now developing a protocol for delayed dismissal that could be used in other situations, such as a gas leak or a bear in the area.
“We’ve got our intruder lockdowns, but we don’t really have a real delayed process,” said Hooker.
Part of the delayed dismissal process would involve informing parents that they could expect a delayed exit.
The RCMP are still investigating Monday’s incident and encourage anyone with information to contact them at 250-837-5255.