Stephanie Waddell & Jackie Hong
F.H. Collins Secondary School was evacuated the afternoon of Oct. 21 following a bomb threat against the high school.
Students and staff evacuated the school, in Whitehorse’s Riverdale neighbourhood, at 1 p.m. following the discovery of the threat, moving over to nearby Selkirk Elementary.
The situation saw Yukon RCMP attend and stop traffic on the Robert Campbell Bridge into Riverdale from downtown as well as the portion of Lewes Boulevard immediately in front of the school.
The closure caused extensive delays and backups along Second Avenue.
Police gradually reopened bridge and road access approximately an hour later, but officers as well as crews from the Whitehorse Fire Department remained on-scene at the school until about 3:30 p.m.
The News spoke to several groups of students on the sidewalk outside the school after the bridge re-opened.
They said that a student had taken a photo of the bomb threat and shared it on social media. Another student then reported that social media post to the principal.
The students told the News that their teachers appeared surprised when evacuation instructions came over the intercom and told them it wasn’t a drill.
Reached for comment Oct. 22, a Yukon RCMP spokesperson said she could not confirm or deny how the threat was delivered nor how it was discovered as the situation is still under active investigation.
Several students attempted to retrieve their cars from the high school’s parking lot in the early afternoon of Oct. 21, but were rebuffed by RCMP officers.
Department of Education spokesperson Jason Mackey confirmed in a phone interview Oct. 22 that late-afternoon and evening activities were able to take place as scheduled after police cleared the scene, and that the high school was operating as normal again as of Tuesday morning.
He reiterated that the department’s top priority is the safety of students and staff and thanked the Yukon RCMP for its assistance, as well as everyone impacted by the evacuation and associated road closures for their patience and understanding.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Jackie Hong at email@example.com