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'It's supposed to be a safe space': Gun threat scares students, parents

'I feel scared and concerned that I can't protect my kids at school,' says Bradford parent

It was a tense and nerve-racking morning for students at Bradford District High School (BDHS) after an online threat prompted an extra police presence and added security measures.

The threat, regarding a shooting, was discovered yesterday on social media.

While classes were still in session, some students, like Delakson Baskaran, were left terrified and chose not to go to school.

"Of all places I definitely did not expect for a situation like this to occur in Bradford," said the Grade 11 student. "I used to think that Bradford was this small, peaceful town where violence was non-existent. In the past few months BDHS has undergone several violence-related issues. Bradford isn’t the same old place I knew and loved."

The Simcoe County District School Board said a letter was sent to BDHS families. It stated that the school was made aware of a post on social media that was threatening in nature and South Simcoe police were contacted immediately to investigate. 

Late Monday evening, police confirmed they were made aware of a social media post directed towards the safety of students at the school on Tuesday.

“We understand the threat is very concerning to students, parents, school staff, administrators, and the community. Police and school officials are working to ensure the safety and well-being of students,” police said in a statement.

Still, many parents took to social media to voice their frustration over a lack of communication, saying they didn’t receive an email or phone call until this morning, after their kids had already caught the bus.

"I’m beyond disappointed with the lack of communication," said Patricia Desjardins, who has a child that attends BDHS. "If as the principal mentioned in the email they had been working on this issue through the night into the morning, why did we as parents get notice of the threat at 7:12 a.m.?"

Another parent, Sherril Tyrrell, echoed that sentiment.

''I feel scared and concerned that I can't protect my kids at school. It's supposed to be a safe space," she said. ''My concern is what are they doing with the students before it gets to this point?"

Police say they are actively investigating to identify the source and validity of the threat, and are working to ensure the safety and well-being of students.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Criminal Investigation Bureau with the South Simcoe police at 905-775-3311 or Crime Stoppers anonymously.