Parent applauds HSD protocol amid repeated threats


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A parent of a child affected by the recent Hanover School Division closures amid repeated threatening phone calls says the response by the division has been above grade.

For the second time in less than two weeks students in the Hanover School Division stayed home after a series of voice messages issuing threats were received.

“As a parent, this is a serious thing,” said Krista Friesen, parent to a 14-year-old who attends Steinbach Regional Secondary School.

Last Wednesday staff at Clearspring Middle School received a message in which the caller issued a “direct threat” to Kleefeld School, according to an email sent to parents from Superintendent Shelley Amos.

CMS and Kleefeld School were closed Thursday.

Then on Thursday afternoon, CMS received a second voicemail from the same number, later found to have originated from the U.S, directing threats to CMS and SRSS. Shortly after, the division announced all schools in Steinbach and Kleefeld School would be closed Friday out of “an abundance of caution.”

In total, schools in the division have received four phone calls issuing threats to at least one school for the following day.

Friesen said the division’s handling of the latest threats has been proactive and reduced stress for herself and other parents.

“They’re really taking the measures to make sure that the kids are safe and secure in their home as opposed to ‘well, let’s let them go to school and see what happens,’” she said.

Friesen’s daughter attended CMS four years ago when the school received a bomb threat and the campus had to be evacuated. RCMP later identified the threat as a prank and a suspect was identified.

RCMP Sgt. Paul Manaigre said the Mounties are continuing to investigate the recent threats with their U.S. partners. The source of the voicemails received two weeks ago continue to be investigated.

Mounties did a follow-up sweep of the school Monday morning as students were attending classes remotely due to a cold weather advisory. A notice on the division’s website said no additional threats have been made since last Thursday afternoon.

While questions of students achieving learning outcomes have been raised amid the repeated school closures, parents like Friesen say in situations like this learning comes second.

“There’s nothing more precious to me than the safety of my children,” she said.

“I cannot say that I can promise that I’m going to teach her her math homework tonight. But, you know, one day won’t hurt.”

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