‘Potential general threat’ moved CDDHS students to remote learning for final day

·2 min read

Centre Dufferin District High School (CDDHS) shifted students to remote learning for their final day of instruction last Friday (June 17) due to threats made against the local high school.

On June 16, the high school issued a notice to parents informing them that the school had received information of a “potential general threat” and indication it would be carried out on Friday.

The information sparked an investigation by police and the school, however they did not substantiate any potential threat.

Heather Loney, communications manager for the Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) said the decision to switch to remote learning for the final day of instruction was made to help ease some of the stress experienced by students.

Tension has been bubbling over at the local high in the face of escalating incidents over the past week. On June 13, a fight broke out on school property amongst students following the use of anti-black language and anti-black slurs.

CDDHS Principal Adam Rowden, issued a statement following the fight saying he and the vice-principal had been in contact with families directly involved and impacted by the incident.

“I want to assure you that there is no place for hate and racism at CDDHS,” reads the notice. “CDDHS and the UGDSB know and understand that hateful language constitutes violence and causes harm.”

He noted the school was addressing the issue immediately and the individuals in question would be held accountable.

In response to the reported potential threat at the high school, Shelburne Mayor Wade Mills issued a public statement to resident on Friday as well, expressing council’s distress at the reports coming out of the high school.

“We know that parents and students are anxious and upset and we ant to assure the community that we are monitoring developments as close as possible, given the information that is available,” said Mills. “At this point, the situation is being handled as an internal school matter. Few specific details have been released and we understand that the school administration is conducting ongoing investigations.”

He added, “Regardless of what the investigations concluded, let us state unequivocally that there is no place for racism or violence of any kind in our schools. These institutions must be safe, including and positive places for all students and staff and we all have a part to play in ensuring that.”

Students at CDDHS have since returned to the local high school to take part in a week of exams.

With students set to go on summer break, eyes are looking forward to how the incidents and emotional toll will play out come a return in the Fall.

Loney said CDDHS is committed to support restorative practices and training in the fall to allow spaces for all student to understand and safely work through conflict.

Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press

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