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From left, GC Huston Public School Principal Dan Russell, Saugeen Shores Fire Chief and Director of Protective Services Phil Eagleson, Saugeen Shores Mayor Mike Smith, and Saugeen Shores Police Chief Mike Bellai addressed the media Tuesday evening, June 5, following a bomb threat made Tuesday morning at the Southampton school.

Hub Staff

A canine unit from Windsor Police Services have confirmed that all immediate and interior areas of GC Huston Public School and the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre were safe 11 hours after a bomb threat was called into 911 by an unknown person. At the height of the drama on June 5, 27 emergency services personnel were on scene after the caller indicated there was a bomb in a car in the GC Huston Public School parking lot.

In a Tuesday evening press conference, Saugeen Shores Police Chief Mike Bellai said there were no suspects but that the Criminal Investigation Division was continuing to investigate. “We’re searching to find the originator of the telephone call and we will continue to work on it and update once there is more information,” he said.

The Police Chief said that if caught the caller could face criminal charges and that overall quite a bit of resources were used. “We all train together and we make sure that we’re all on the same page, so training does pay off and this is a perfect example of just how it does pay off. It went really well, we had to call some additional staff in, they were all willing and ready to come in and responded in absolutely no time,” he added.

GC Huston plans to be back to its regular schedule Wednesday, said Principal Dan Russell during the media conference, but added that there will be support staff on hand from Bluewater District School Board, Keystone Child, Youth and Family Services; and Anishinabek Child & Youth Prevention Services.

“We do have extra support staff from the Board coming in to make sure that all of our students who might need to talk to somebody have that opportunity and feel safe,” said Russell. “We are going to be meeting with students from class to class and talking with students about the importance of feeling safe at school and letting them know that this is why we practice those drills and their safety is the first priority for us,” he added.

“Our hope is to get back to business as usual tomorrow but again understanding that there may be some children who are affected by that moreso than others,” he said.

The GC Huston principal said that he was very impressed with the community response and the emergency response by way of communication and assistance and added that both Southampton and Saugeen First Nation made sure that students and staff got what they needed “including driving people to their homes who couldn't get access to their cars,” he said. Russell commended GC Huston staff for making sure that every child was with a caregiver.

In a prepared statement, Saugeen Shores Mayor Mike Smith said that the incident was isolated to Saugeen Shores. “Emergency Services responded as trained and prepared with full tiered response activated and all precautions taken. Students, staff and local residents cooperatively evacuated the area during the uncertain time,” he said. “Thank you for your understanding during this stressful time,” he added.

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A canine unit from Windsor Police Services was brought in to assist with the investigation, June 5.

See: Reported bomb threat at Southampton school

See: Investigation ongoing at GC Huston Public School

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