Editorial — Praise for school district and police

Langley School District and Langley RCMP handled threat at Brookswood Secondary very well.

Langley School District deserves commendation for its swift and public response to a possible threat at Brookswood Secondary on Friday, Dec. 21.

School officials became aware sometime before school started that day of a possible threat being circulated online. Given the rapidity with which such threats spread, a swift response was needed.

Langley RCMP were alerted and were on duty at the school as students arrived. Students were kept in their classrooms in the early part of the day as the threat was completely checked out, and then were able to go about their day normally.

Police remained on duty at the school, and the school district was very open about what was happening, keeping parents and the wider community on top of the issue by communicating very quickly and openly.

This type of transparent communication has not always been the case with Langley School District. In the past, serious incidents at schools have been kept wrapped in secrecy, communications weren’t alway timely and information has been slow in reaching parents, naturally leading to concerns.

There appears to be a genuinely new culture of openness and accountability at the district, and this is an important and welcome step in the right direction.

Given the high level of concern about safety at schools, particularly in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut  school massacre on Dec. 14, the response to a perceived threat at Brookswood is commendable.

The professional response of Langley RCMP is also welcomed, and their proactive and significant approach to this situation was an important reason why this threat quickly fizzled.

Both agencies, who have great responsibilities in our community — one for the education and safety of students, and the other for ensuring public safety — did a commendable job.

At this time of year, when we reflect on the gifts we receive and  the changing of the calendar, it is appropriate to be thankful for public agencies like these two.

Both did their jobs swiftly, competently and always with the best interests of our young people at heart.

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