Elgin Park Secondary in South Surrey was evacuated Friday afternoon, after an apparent bomb threat.
Police raced to the 13484 24 Ave. school around 1:30 p.m., blocking 24 Avenue to traffic on both sides of the school and sending students home.
School district spokesman Doug Strachan told Peace Arch News the evacuation was ordered by police, following “a vague, anonymous threat.”
The all-clear was given around 3 p.m.
“They found nothing,” Strachan said.
Surrey RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schumann confirmed Monday that the evacuation was ordered as a precaution after some students, shortly after lunch, reported finding a threat written on a washroom wall.
A police dog trained in detecting explosives searched the school and did not find anything untoward.
“It’s a hoax,” Schumann said.
And while the file has been closed, Schumann said it is still possible that whoever was responsible for triggering the response could be criminally charged if someone comes forward with information.
The charge, public mischief, is “when you cause police to be engaged in an investigation when you know that it is false,” Schumann said, noting the maximum sentence on such a conviction is five years in jail.
A number of students who were temporarily stranded by the evacuation told PAN Friday that they had no doubt it was a hoax.
“Elgin’s a safe school,” said Hannah Sava, in Grade 11.
Sava and Lisa Tabor, in Grade 12, were frustrated that the incident prevented them from getting to their cars – which were in the school parking lot – to go home.
Grade 10 student Sumrit Sanghera, who heard police arrive shortly before the evacuation order was given, said there had been no suggestion of anything amiss at the school in the hours or days before the threat.
Parents were also frustrated. Michael Zhang said he learned of the evacuation around 2 p.m. through an email from the school and was “absolutely” worried when he couldn’t immediately reach his son.