South Surrey elementary schools put in ‘hold and secure’ during police incident

Police were called to 160 Street and 16 Avenue to deal with individual under mental health act

Students, teachers and staff at two White Rock elementary schools and one South Surrey school were told to “hold and secure” Monday morning while police dealt with a nearby incident involving an individual under the mental health act.

Surrey RCMP Const. Richard Wright said the police incident took place shortly before 10 a.m. near the 160 Street and 16 Avenue intersection.

Surrey and White Rock RCMP called for a hold-and-secure at South Meridian Elementary, White Rock Elementary and Peace Arch Elementary.

Wright told PAN the call was made “out of an abundance of caution.”

Contacted Wednesday afternoon, White Rock RCMP Const. Chantal Sears said the hold-and-secure lasted for about 30 minutes.

“Classes continued as per the norm with what a hold-and-secure is, and the hold-and-secure was removed prior to the first recess,” Sears said.

Surrey Schools communication manager Ritinder Matthew initially told PAN the schools were “in lock-down,” however, she later confirmed to PAN it was a hold-and-secure.

A lock-down, according to district documents, is called in response to a perceived life-threatening emergency either inside or close proximity to the school. A hold-and-secure, according to the district, is typically called in response to a danger that has been identified outside the school or in the surrounding school community.

Matthew said it’s up to the principal’s discretion whether or not to alert parents of a hold and secure.

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