Eden High School was subject to an undisclosed threat this past Monday morning.
Niagara Regional Police uniform officers were called to the school at about 10:45 a.m. following the report of the received threat, and students and staff were moved at the time into a lockdown situation while awaiting further instruction.
The Local was able to speak to a Grade 11 Eden student who preferred to remain anonymous. The Virgil resident was in the cafeteria at the time. She and her fellow students there were subsequently moved into the library by some staff members.
“An announcement came on moving us into a hold-and-secure lockdown,” the student told The Local. “We were locked down for an hour and 20 minutes.”
Like many of her fellow students, she texted her parents to tell them what was happening and to assure them she was okay.
“I was a little bit scared,” she admits. “We had done these (lockdowns) before, but only for about 10 minutes. Once it started to get progressively longer, everyone was wondering what was happening, and people started feeling anxious.”
She said as time went on, the students seemed to get quieter as the uncertainty continued, heightening the anxious feelings.
At about 12:10 p.m., she says another announcement came over the PA urging all students to arrange for a ride home at that time, two hours and 35 minutes earlier than the usual dismissal time.
Carolyn Loconte of the District School Board of Niagara said the school and the board communicated directly to Eden families to provide them with essential information, and also posted information about Eden publicly to social media accounts.
Students who take transportation were bused home at that time, while those still waiting to be picked up by parents were moved to a nearby location with staff in the meantime.
“It’s been a crazy year,” the student said, referring to Eden’s early move in December to online learning after a COVID outbreak, and controversy over principal Sharon Burns Instagram post about heavy metal band Iron Maiden in October. “I wish it could just be normal.”
Niagara Regional Police confirmed in a Monday press release that out of an abundance of caution, students and staff were evacuated to ensure their safety while officers searched the building.
No one was physically harmed during the incident, it said. Detectives are continuing to investigate and there is no known ongoing threat to public safety at this time.
Anyone with further information is asked to contact detectives at (905) 688-4111, dial option 3 ext. 1022200. Or CrimeStoppers at 1 (800) 222-TIPS (8477).