Two high schools on Montreal’s south coast were closed for a day on Friday after being targeted by threats. There are still a number of gray areas related to these studies that are of concern to parents and school management.
The secondary school Louis-Philippe-Paré in Châteauguay and the secondary school Magdeleine in La Prairie had to temporarily close their doors. At the Ecole de la Magdeleine, the students first went to class on Friday morning, before the school board contacted the police at 10:15 am about threats against the school staff.
Sonia Jolicoeur, mother of a high school student at the École de la Magdeleine, had a particularly stressful day. “At 10:27 am my son texted me that there was an alarm at school, and at 10:32 am they were told to evacuate,” said the mother of the family, along with The duty. According to him, the students were then taken to the football field, where they waited for about an hour.
“My husband went to get our son, but the police had made a schedule and we couldn’t get in,” she says. After an hour, the students were allowed to leave the school grounds, either by bus or on their own.
Ms Jolicoeur said she was quite pleased with the response from the school board and the police, but remained concerned about the idea of sending her son back to class. “We wouldn’t want anything to happen to him in the last two weeks of school. †
It must be said that the week was particularly difficult for the students of this La Prairie school and for their families. Indeed, it had to close its doors on Wednesday and Thursday after two high school students were seen outside it with “toy weapons”, ie fake firearms, the font Régie intercommunale de Roussillon confirms. This event would not be associated with the threats that again led to the closure of this school on Friday.
“It’s really an unusual situation this week,” said Kathlyn Morel, the director-general of the Center de services scolaire des Grandes-Seigneuries (CSSDGS), describing these successive events as “worrying”. “We take it seriously anyway,” said Ms Morel, who did not hesitate to evacuate the school when police told her on Friday to take the threats received seriously.
“When there is a fire alarm in a building, we don’t ask ourselves whether it is justified or not, we evacuate the building,” she illustrates. However, the director general hopes to be able to reopen the two secondary schools involved “as soon as possible”, ideally Monday.
Ms. Morel also assures that psychologists and special education technicians will be on hand to provide moral support to students who will need it when these institutions welcome them back.
A Châteauguay school was also targeted
Louis-Philippe-Paré High School, located in Châteauguay, Montérégie, announced early Friday morning that the school’s doors would be closed all day after students and staff were threatened with death by email late Thursday night.
The Center de services scolaire des Grandes-Seigneuries (CSSDGS) then contacted the Service de Police de Châteauguay (SPC), which dispatched officers to conduct the investigation, in conjunction with the Sûreté du Québec’s cybersecurity team. The building was therefore closed indefinitely on Friday, on the advice of the police, who have so far made no arrests.
“We are not confirming anything at this time,” the statement said Task CPS media official Nadia Grondin confirms that it is “too early to say if the school will reopen on Monday”.
For the mother Aurélie Cahusat, whose daughter will start her first year at the Louis-Philippe-Paré school next year, the situation remains “worrying”. “It can happen at any school,” she nuances, however. Ms. Cahusat plans to keep her daughter enrolled at Louis-Philippe-Paré School next year, “but if we see events getting dangerous, we’ll look for another school.”
Last Monday, threats were passed to the same establishment and in the evening police made the arrest of a 22-year-old man, Alexandre Charbonneau, who is being held pending his investigation into temporary freedom. Châteauguay police are unable to establish a connection between this suspect and Friday’s events. In December 2021, five people were arrested for making threats against the staff of the Louis-Philippe-Paré school. The establishment was closed for a day.
only one culprit
The threats against the two high schools that were closed that day were allegedly made by the same person. “The events are linked”, confirmed to the Task Jacinthe Laferrière, a spokesman for the Régie intermunicipal police Roussillon, which covers the territory of La Prairie.
“The Magdeleine school was evacuated after threats against school staff,” added Ms Laferrière. She was unable to specify Task what specific form the threats have taken at this high school.
Accompanied by The duty, for her part, the deputy director of the General Secretariat and the Communications Service of the CSA, Hélène Dumais, notes that the same “modus operandi” was used by the suspect to convey his threats to the two branches. At Magdeleine High School, however, the threatening email was not accessed until this morning, which would explain why students went there first before the establishment was subsequently closed.
According to a press release from the Intermunicipal Police Council of Roussillon, the police operation at the Magdeleine school ended at 4:25 pm and “no threat has been located”.
With the Canadian press