St. Albert, Alberta – Members of the St. Albert RCMP Detachment are investigating an incident which occurred this morning in relation to a threat made by a youth toward William D. Cuts Junior High School in St. Albert.
Police were alerted by school staff, who had learned from students, to a possible threat in which a young person had indicated that they would cause harm to the school’s population. The youth was located at the school and taken into custody without incident. There was not any risk to the school, student body, staff members or the general public.
The accused will be charged with one count of uttering threats contrary to section 264.1(1) of the Criminal Code. Given that the accused is a youth, they cannot be identified under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The RCMP would like remind the public that making a threat to cause someone harm, bodily injury or death, whether it is posted online or to social media, is considered to be no different than a threat which is spoken by one person directly to another person. The advent of social media and the ease of access through smart phones, computers and other such devices have given a false sense of impunity or anonymity to people who may think it is acceptable to post threatening messages on these media. The bottom line is this: a threat is a threat, regardless of whether it is posted online, to social media or made verbally, face-to-face.
Any investigation into an allegation of uttering threats which leads to criminal charges and a conviction in court could have an impact upon the accused, especially if they are a young person. Having a youth criminal record may limit a person’s travel and job options in the future. Any criminal record may prevent a person from getting into another country, no matter how minor the offence. Although the police will not give any employer information about a youth criminal record, employers can ask that a young person complete a criminal record check in order to prove that they do not have a record.
Additional information will not be provided at this time given that the matter is before the court, however, should new details arise during the course of the ongoing investigation which merit disclosure, an updated media release will be issued.
RCMP, “K” Division
Strategic Communications Unit