Père Marquette School | Threats force suspension of classes, which SPVM is investigating

On Tuesday morning, a large police operation was carried out at the Père-Marquette high school in the La Petite-Patrie sector, in connection with threats that would have been made at the beginning of the day, forcing the suspension of classes.

Updated yesterday at 10:31am.

Henri Ouellette-Vezina

Henri Ouellette-Vezina
The press

The Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) confirms it received a call to 911 around 7:40 a.m. regarding “threats,” the nature of which is still unknown. These threats would have been made on social networks.

A security area was quickly set up around the school from early in the morning. “Right now we don’t know for sure if it was addressed to a specific student, the school or another organization,” police spokeswoman Agent Mariane Allaire Morin said.

According to him, “at the time of the call” to the police, several students were “not yet in class”. They therefore went there as a precautionary measure to “ensure everyone’s safety” and limit any form of threat. The personnel on site have been evacuated and are safe. Nobody was injured.

“We really don’t take any risks in such cases and set up a security perimeter. The situation is under control,” emphasized M.me Allaire Morin, who indicates that an investigation is underway to try to determine the origin of the threat and who created it. Investigators are expected to go to the scene on Tuesday, accompanied by the Technology Crimes Unit, to shed light on the situation.

Classes suspended for the day

In an internal note sent to parents on Tuesday, school principal Éric Benoit indicated that “no concerns have been raised regarding the security of the premises” and specified that the SPVM is continuing its investigation. “In accordance with the recommendation of the SPVM, the school will remain closed today, Tuesday, May 3, 2022, as a precaution. All classes are canceled for the day,” he announced.

He assures that the facility’s activities can resume from Wednesday according to the usual schedule. “We apologize for the inconvenience, but in this context we prefer to ensure the safety of the students and our staff,” writes Mr. Benoit.

“Students 5 and upand Secondary school students can pick up their preparation book this afternoon for the ministerial examination scheduled for this week. Tomorrow, the school’s professionals will also be available on site to welcome students who wish to comment on this situation,” the director concludes.

This is not the first time that the Père-Marquette school has been the target of threats. Nearly two years ago, in October 2020, this facility on Marquette Street, south of Bellechasse, had been the subject of a major police operation — including the Tactical Intervention Group — following a containment alert related to an active gunman threat, was earlier reported on day triggered.

At that time there were no students in the school as it was an educational day. The police still got all the employees out, who were sent to another building. The threat eventually turned out to be unfounded.

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