School District 68 Hold and Secure Update

Nov. 12/15

Dear Parents/Guardians:

This morning, the district went into a district-wide hold and secure at 9 a.m. The hold and secure was lifted at 10:20 a.m. The ‘hold and secure’ term is used when it is desirable to secure the school due to an ongoing situation outside which is not necessarily related to the school. The reasons for the ‘hold and secure’ could be anything from a wild animal sighting, a threatening or suspicious individual, or an environmental hazard. During ‘hold and secure’ all school perimeter doors are locked and no-one is permitted to leave or enter the building.

Today’s situation was a hold and secure, not a lockdown. During a ‘hold and secure,’ all students are kept safe in the building and learning continues. All district schools practiced both ‘hold and secure’ and lockdown drills. As you may know, schools practice these drills at various times throughout the school year.

The term lockdown is used in the event there is an immediate threat within the building. During a lockdown students and staff lock all doors and remain out of sight until the RCMP arrive and provide direction. In a lockdown the RCMP take control of the situation.

Today, schools continued to function normally with the exterior doors locked until such time as we became aware that the situation was resolved and the district made the decision to lift the ‘hold and secure’ alert.

For your information, the district was advised of an unspecific online threat made towards Nanaimo-Ladysmith schools. In such events, the district works with the local RCMP detachments. As stated earlier, during a ‘hold and secure’, we do not release any students until the ‘hold and secure’ is lifted. In such circumstances parents are asked not to come to the school for any reason until advised they can do so. Students are safest while in the school.