Dressed in black, faces covered by balaclavas, a group of teenagers with soft-air pellet guns ambushed three Grade 6 students at Takhini Elementary School last Friday.
The lunch break was just ending and most children were heading back into the school when the assault occurred.
The disguised teens emerged from the woods and began firing at three students who were at the far end of the playground.
Two of the three were hit by the pellets, which, apparently, sting.
The students immediately headed for the school and told the little kids to get inside, said Takhini school principal Kelly Collins.
“We secured the perimeter right away and called 911,” he said.
The students who were hit gave statements.
“The kids thought they knew who these people were,” said Collins, who added that high school students had Friday off.
The Grade 6 students knew they were soft-air pellet guns, he added.
And they weren’t afraid.
“But they were righteously indignant; they were angry and they were stung,” he said.
“These guys failed in terrorist training 101,” said government elementary school director David Sloan.
“Because they took off their balaclavas and some of the younger kids saw them and identified them.”
They are believed to be Grade 9 students, he said.
Collins is waiting for police to confirm these suspicions, before taking disciplinary action.
“It’s in the RCMP’s ballpark,” he said.
The attack was probably just a prank.
“But to us, the issue is that someone was assaulting our kids, and thought that would be a fun thing to do,” said Collins.
“This is not the kind of climate where we treat anybody making a disturbance or intruding into a school as just an idle threat or a joke,” said Sloan.
If a teacher sees somebody lurking through the bushes dressed in black, they’re not going to take chances with the kids, he said.
“They’re not going to say, ‘I wonder if this is a joke or a prank or something,’ they’re going to treat it as serious and that’s how they should be treating it.
“And I hope the police treat it with the seriousness it deserves.
“At what point do you say something is an adolescent prank and something is serious?” he said.
“We treat everything as serious. And in this case, quite frankly, anybody, regardless of age, who pulls something like that in this particular type of climate, whether it’s a prank, whether it’s a joke — it’s a moronic act.”
Soft-air pellet guns, a hot item at Canadian Tire these days, were banned from Whitehorse elementary schools long before this incident.