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Lockdown at Wellington High School after threat on social media; teenager faces charges in court

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Wellington.Scoop
Police were called to an emergency at Wellington High School this morning. The school was placed on lockdown for an hour, with armed officers reported to be in police cars outside the school.

This afternoon a youth was charged in relation to the threat. He appeared in Youth Court charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition, and was remanded in custody until Friday. Another youth will be referred to Youth Aid.

The threat was described in a message on the school’s Facebook at 9.45am which stated:

Police received credible information this morning about a threat to the school, which is why we asked students to stay in classrooms. The situation we were managing has now been resolved with police support. All students, staff and persons on-site are safely accounted for. Everyone did extremely well and responded to instructions.

And an earlier Facebook message:

Wellington High School is currently managing a situation at school. Students are staying in their classrooms, exams are continuing, and all outside entry points to the school are locked. We will continue to provide updates as soon as we know more. Please do not come to the school or phone the school as you will not be attended to and this may cause disruption to the management of this incident and could potentially place yourselves and/or our staff and students’ safety at risk.

News from NZ Police
Two young people are being spoken with in relation to the threat, which had been posted on social media and was reported this morning. The threat made reference to Wellington High School, which was placed into partial lockdown for around one hour as a precaution.

Enquiries are continuing, however there is no information to suggest any particular group was a specific target.

We ask anyone with information that can help the enquiries to contact 105, quoting file number 201126/3921.

Police thank Wellington High School and the wider community for their cooperation while the threat was dealt with. We know this incident has been worrying and we urge anyone with concerns about their safety or the safety of others to speak to Police immediately to report it.

Report from RNZ
Principal Dominic Killalea said police told them this morning right before school started there had been a “credible, serious imminent threat” of a “school shooting”. He said the threat did not come from a student at the school, and there was not much he could say because while the police were investigating.

RNZ asked Killalea to confirm whether there was any association with white supremacists. “That is the one thing that police have shared with us, that there could be an association with that,” he said. “I can confirm the … far right … implication.”

Killalea told RNZ police warned the school about 8.30am of the threat and an officer was at the school during the lockdown. He said the response from the students and staff was “fantastic”.

“The response in the situation was absolutely what we would want. The kids did what they were asked to do with no fuss, followed all the instructions and acted appropriately. Everyone I came across was really calm and I went into a couple of classrooms and the kids were great – everyone responded really well.”

Killalea said staff would be keeping an eye on students and taking care of them in the coming days in case some were shaken by what happened.

Message from the Principal

DomPost: On-line threats from teenager threatening to shoot students

3 comments:

  1. Grant Robertson, 26. November 2020, 12:51

    Sending my aroha to all at Wellington High and whanau. This is a tough time but I know Dominic and the team always have the wellbeing of students at heart. And we all need to stand strong against bigotry and hatred. Kia kaha [via twitter]

     
  2. Fleur Fitzsimons, 26. November 2020, 13:38

    Much love to Wellington High students, staff and whanau, it’s the School I want my trans boy to go to cos it’s so inclusive and safe. Hatred and bigotry have no place in Wellington. [via twitter]

     
  3. James Shaw, 26. November 2020, 16:56

    Every day at school should be joyful. Joy at learning, time with friends, discovering who you are. That joy should never be tempered by a fear of violence. Thoughts with those affected by this & thanks to everyone who ensured students & teachers were safe. [via twitter]