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UPDATE: 'No legitimate threat,' says Riverside Secondary principal following Port Coquitlam school's evacuation

A student told the Tri-City News an alleged "phoned-in threat" was the reason for the evacuation.
Riverside Secondary in Port Coquitlam is a member of School District 43 (SD43).

4 p.m.

The principal of Riverside Secondary says there was no threat made to the Port Coquitlam school following an evacuation today (Nov. 4).

After 11 a.m., Coquitlam RCMP coordinated the evacuation alongside School District 43 (SD43) after a phone threat was called to the institution.

In a letter to parents shared with the Tri-City News, Riverside principal Jon Bruneau explains the school called police immediately which led Mounties to secure the building by removing students, staff and other local residents.

"The RCMP, with the assistance of specialized units, then conducted a sweep of the building," he said.

"This process confirmed that there was no legitimate threat to Riverside Secondary School."

Bruneau explained parent-teacher interviews were being conducted when the call came to Riverside, but have since resumed and will continue as planned.

"Thank you also to our students and staff for their maturity and for following our emergency procedures as well."

Coquitlam RCMP has yet to provide an update from its end on the matter. We'll add more information as it becomes available.

This is the third time in one month a Tri-City school was evacuated under a similar circumstance.

In early October, two Port Moody schools — both members of SD43 — were the subjects of swatters who called in hoax bomb threats.

They prompted evacuations, extensive searches involving police officers and specially-trained search dogs.

The first prank call occurred on Oct. 1 at Seaview Elementary and required the evacuation of about 30 people, including children attending a daycare.

A youth was arrested for public mischief in the incident, but was later released.

Three days later, police were called to Port Moody Secondary to investigate another bomb threat, which turned out to be fake.

More than 1,000 students and staff were evacuated from the building until a search was complete the afternoon of Oct. 4.

2:15 p.m.

Coquitlam RCMP has given a safe all-clear for Riverside Secondary as a police incident continues to be investigated. 

Students and staff at the Port Coquitlam institution were evacuated for under an hour this afternoon (Nov. 4) as Mounties ensured everyone's safety alongside School District 43 (SD43)

"Students have been allowed back in to collect their belongings for dismissal," a tweet reads.

1:20 p.m.

Students and staff at Riverside Secondary were evacuated today (Nov. 4), and it appears everything has returned to normal.

Coquitlam RCMP says Mounties are currently dealing with a police incident at the southside Port Coquitlam school (2215 Reeve St.), though firm details are unknown as of this publication.

Spokesperson S/Sgt. Kyle Simpson explains police are working with School District 43 (SD43) to ensure everyone inside and local residents nearby are safe.

"Everyone, including parents or guardians of students, are being asked to avoid the area and avoid calling 911 to ask for more information," adds Simpson. 

The detachment tells the Tri-City News an update will be provided later this afternoon. Upon arrival, it appeared all police vehicles had left the school and those evacuated from the building were going back inside.

A student spoke with our reporter on scene and said they were told an alleged "phoned-in threat" was the reason for the evacuation.

- with a file from Diane Strandberg, Tri-City News