Montreal Police have arrested six people in connection with a slew of online threats targeting schools in the Greater Montreal area.
The individuals are all students between the ages of 13 and 17 years old.
The arrests on Monday come after the cyber unit of Montreal Police conducted an extensive online investigation over the weekend.
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According to Manuel Couture, spokesperson for the SPVM, the investigation was prompted after a number of concerning online threats toward schools and officials began circulating on social media platforms last week.
“It began when the teacher got stabbed on Thursday. After that, we began to have more and more threats. We had a closure the next day after, in the east end of Montreal, and they closed the school,” Couture said.
“After that, the trend exploded.”
Officials from Montreal police believe the online trend started among students after media reports about the stabbing of a teacher at a Montreal high school Thursday.
The assault took place at John F. Kennedy High School. The incident prompted a temporary lockdown.
Classes at John F. Kennedy High School were cancelled on Friday and are only set to resume on Tuesday.
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Since the incident, schools across the Greater Montreal Area have been alarmed by an increase of threats from online forums.
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Officials at Louis-Philippe-Paré high school were forced to close their doors Monday morning after receiving a “serious” online threat, according to a letter sent to parents.
Students at Cavelier-De LaSalle high school were met with increased police presence on school grounds after the school fielded menacing words online.
The school decided to remain open on the recommendation of Montreal police.
Some parents who were dropping off their children refused Monday morning after not feeling the police presence was adequate.
“The police are outside and not going inside the school. I don’t feel my child is safe at school today. They don’t know what could happen,” Simona Daba said on Monday.
READ MORE: ‘It’s very scary:’ Student arrested after teacher stabbed at Montreal high school
Police say the alarming postings are usually found on “confessions” platforms and are written under anonymous names.
Montreal police are stressing the seriousness of the act.
Couture said each and every threat, no matter the intention, that is brought to the attention of police is treated as a real one.
Officials are also issuing a warning to would-be offenders.
Despite being hidden behind an alias and a keyboard, police say they have methods to track and find the source of the comments.
“You might think it’s anonymous because your name isn’t on the post but we can trace you back and we can arrest you even if you think it’s confidential,” Couture said.
Newscast Item | Concerning Online Threats
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