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Ottawa police investigating online shooting threats at Orleans high school

Garneau Catholic High School in Orleans. Dec. 4 2023. (Peter Szperling/CTV News Ottawa) Garneau Catholic High School in Orleans. Dec. 4 2023. (Peter Szperling/CTV News Ottawa)
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The Ottawa Police Service is investigating shooting threat messages that were sent to students at Garneau Catholic High School in Orléans.

In a letter sent to parents on Monday, school principal Caroline Viau said the messages have been circulating on social media. The nature of the threats or their origin are unclear.

In a statement to CTV News, the Ottawa Police say they do not believe there are any immediate safety risks.

Students from ‘different school boards’ in the Ottawa region have received shooting messages, the letter said. However, OPS said they are only investigating one school at this time.

On Friday, students were kept in class for an hour as a preventative measure because of a threatening email.

"The Ottawa Police Service has assessed the threat risk as low and is recommending that schools continue school activities as normal," the letter said.

"As a preventive measure, staff will ensure increased vigilance throughout the week and the police department will maintain close collaboration with the school administration."

Police did not provide more details and said more specifics will be shared directly from the school.

"Please be assured that the safety and well-being of every student is a priority for schools and the Board. We invite you to discuss this with your child to check if this situation may have generated anxiety in her or him," Monday's letter to parents said.

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE) said several school boards, including the CECCE, have been made aware of school shooting threat messages on social media that are generic in nature.

"The Ottawa Police Service was notified immediately by the CECCE and assessed the risk as low, recommending that schools continue to operate as usual," the school board said in an email. "As always, the safety and well-being of every student is a priority for the Board. Garneau’s parent community has been invited to discuss this issue with their child and social workers are available to accompany students if necessary."

Police say the investigation remains active at this time.

Correction

A previous version of this story misspelled principal Caroline Viau's last name as "Vial". This has been corrected.

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