…as School of the Nations enforces additional security
…Police launch probe
Amid ongoing security threats at the School of Nations which has caused much disquietude to parents and students, two senior secondary institutions within Georgetown were in the same situation on Friday afternoon after bombing and shooting threats were made by an unknown person.
Guyana Times understands that the social media accounts created on Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram, which were reportedly sending threats to School of the Nations, gave a bomb scare to Queens College while threatening to shoot persons the Bishops High School.
When this publication visited Queens College a few minutes before classes were dismissed at 15:00h, the school was reportedly on lockdown as gates remained padlocked and heavily guarded.
A few moments prior, Police ranks had visited the school with a sniffer dog to
assess the situation.
Parents were not allowed to enter the premises so they waited outside until classes were dismissed. As customary, they would utilise the Thomas Road, Georgetown entrance to collect their kids. This was blocked, and vehicles were not allowed to enter the school’s compound.
At the Bishops’ High School, there was a similar scenario as students waited inside the premises until their parents arrived.
The person who is responsible for these threats are still unknown and Police said that they have been making efforts to apprehend the suspect.
As information circled about the situation at the schools, the individual dispatched small messages to drive fear into students and teachers.
One of the posts later said, “Lock down ain’t gonna stop me.”
The Guyana Police Force (GPF) announced a few hours after, that several persons were later questioned about the threats at both schools and an investigation has been launched. Assurance was given that the safety of all stakeholders remains a commitment.
“Those matters are also being investigated by the Guyana Police Force which wishes to assure members of the public that it is committed to ensuring safety and security of all students, teachers, administrators and parents of the aforementioned schools and all other private and Government schools,” the GPF stated.
Meanwhile, at School of the Nations, parents gathered for another meeting for
updates on the recent security measures that were implemented ever since it’s Director, Dr Brian O’Toole was shot at his home on Sunday evening.
Along with Police presence, the institution has sought to make modifications to a hut in front of the premises where contents entering the school are likely to be monitored.
Adding to that, the Professional Guard Services were engaged to provide baton services at the institution. It was maintained that they are desisting from having guns present on site during learning periods.
However, the bags of senior students will be searched along with younger students who are accompanying these older children. This is to ensure that weapons and chemicals are not stealthily passed through security checks.
Guyana Times understands that the school is looking at a lockdown situation should any emergency arise, rather than an evacuation process.
Parents were informed of the ALICE protocol, which means alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate and is an active shooter response tactic. This will most likely be used in the event where the students’ safety is jeopardised.
At a recent meeting with the guardians, Executive Officer Dr Dexter Phillips would have stated that they are installing additional security cameras at blind spots along with an increased security presence at the entrances. But this did not do well with parents, who demanded that security measures be completely implemented before classes resume as per normal. For the past week, classes were put on hold pending these changes.
As for the suspect, who has been causing these disturbances and worry, Police Commissioner Leslie James had recently indicated that four persons were questioned.