Bomb threats annoying

by Jennifer Pritchett
Northern News Services

NNSL (Feb 26/97) - Lawrence Kennedy says he's way behind in his classes because of a dozen bomb threats at city schools over the past three months.

"It's annoying that students have lost so much school time because of someone's practical jokes," said the Grade 11 Sir John Franklin high school student.

"And it won't be fair if we have to make up the time after school."

After talking with more than 100 students, RCMP have arrested three youths in connection with the threats at Mildred Hall and the two city high schools.

Staff Sgt. Dave Grundy, the city detachment's top spokesman said students have been driving police to solve the situation.

He's personally had students stop him in the street and ask him to do something about the threats.

"Even the kids are getting annoyed with this and want it to stop," he said. "It's gone way beyond being a practical joke."

Police have now solved five of the threats.

A 17-year-old girl, a 12-year-old girl, as well as a 13-year-old boy have all been arrested for the crimes. They will be dealt with under the Young Offender's Act, Grundy said.

The threats are serious offences and are tying up time for students, teachers, and police.

"We're tying up our assets when we have other things to be doing," he said.

"This is serious. It's a criminal offence that will result in a criminal record if they're caught doing it."

Grundy said that kids aren't looking at the long-term effect of what they see as a practical joke.

"Some of the younger kids are even getting traumatized by this," he added.

Michael Targett, a Grade 12 student at St. Pat's high school, agrees that the whole ordeal has made some students a little uneasy about going to school.

"I don't even know if the place they take us is safe," he said. "It's the gym behind the school and it's about 10 feet away from our school."

Targett said that the bomb threats have been a major disturbance to students, and he hopes they have stopped for good.

"The first time everyone was scared, but now we all know it's a prank," he said. "It's annoying."

But Grundy said police are continuing to investigate the threats, and as more arrests are made, they hope to set a precedent for any other copycats out for a practical joke.

"It's a practical joke to them," he said. "Is it worth it? I don't think so."