Statement from school board regarding hold and secure at LaSalle Secondary

The following is a statement from the Limestone District School Board regarding the hold and secure and incident that took place at LaSalle Secondary School on the morning of Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018.

At approximately 8:45 a.m. November 22, 2018, La Salle Intermediate & Secondary School was placed in a Hold & Secure due to a potential threat outside of the school. Kingston Police responded to the area around the school to investigate. Students and staff were safe inside the school. The Hold & Secure was lifted at 9:35 a.m. after police determined there was no further threat.

The Board appreciates the quick and diligent work of school staff to maintain safety and calm during today’s Hold & Secure event. The Board is also grateful for the support of our partners at Kingston Police for their prompt and professional response.

To help ensure the safety and security of our school communities, the Board has comprehensive procedures in preparation for and response to emergency situations, which includes plans to keep students, staff and others safe in the event of a serious accident, a potentially violent incident or an extreme environmental/weather event.

There is an important distinction between a Hold & Secure and a Lockdown although people often confuse the protocols.

During a Hold & Secure:

  • Emergency situation in close proximity to the school (outside the school, on school grounds and/or unrelated to the school) such as a police pursuit/investigation or incident in the neighbourhood.
  • All exterior doors are locked.
  • School operates as normal inside the school walls; outdoor activities are suspended.
  • Staff/students/visitors on property must be brought inside the building.
  • Access to the school is restricted and carefully monitored.
  • Protocol will continue until the principal or designate issues an all-clear.

During a Lockdown:

  • Immediate threat of violence to students and staff inside the school building.
  • Main objective is to protect safety of everyone by securing them behind locked doors.
  • School does not operate as normal.
  • Students and staff are placed into secure locations and stay out of sight lines into the area.
  • Students and staff are not to use electronic devices during a lockdown unless they have critical information for the police or emergency services (911 purposes).
  • Access to the school is restricted; no one is allowed in or out.
  • Protocol will continue until the principal, designate or police issues an all-clear.

During any emergency protocol, the Board will often assume communications on behalf of the school so school administration and other staff can focus on ensuring the safety of students and staff in their care. It is not possible for schools to respond to inquiries or send out information during the incident. The Board will keep parents/guardians and the media informed via its official communication channels such as its website, social media accounts and automated messaging as available. The Board may also use local media to help share information more broadly with the school community. Schools, with assistance from the Board, will send out additional information and next steps as required after the incident has ended.

Kingston Police remain on scene at LaSalle Secondary following a hold and secure at the school, which has now been lifted.
Photo by Cris Vilela.

 

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