Stabbing puts Loon Lake schools on alert

by Derek Cornet

Two schools were on a perimeter lockdown last week after a teenager was stabbed at a residence on Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation.

According to an RCMP news release, a report was received at about 5:45 a.m. April 16 regarding a teenage female who had sustained a stab wound. Details were few, but it was reported her injuries were serious. She was transported to Meadow Lake Hospital for treatment before being taken to the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon.

Later that day, principals at Ernie Studer School (ESS) in Loon Lake, along with the school on-reserve, were contacted by officers regarding the crime and both schools implemented a hold and secure procedure. The perimeter lockdown was maintained for two days, but officials with both the RCMP and the Northwest School Division denied responsibility for making the call to secure the buildings.

“The direction was not given by the RCMP to do this,” RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Craig Cleary said. “It was not done with our consultation.”
NWSD communications officer Kaitlin Harman said ESS was simply taking every precaution.

“During the whole process, the principal (Brad Freyman) was in contact with the RCMP and they made a plan, that if the situation was still ongoing the next day, we would continue with the hold and secure,” she remarked.

The hold and secure designation meant the doors leading into the school were locked and all visitors needed to enter through the front access. Students also had indoor recess, stayed inside during lunch hour and parents had to pick up and drop off children who walk to and from school. Harman noted the school was going to continue the procedure until administration was instructed otherwise.

As of press time, the Loon Lake RCMP detachment, as well as Major Crimes North and North Battleford General Investigation and Forensic Identification Sections continued to investigate. The extent of the victim’s injuries and the weapon used in the stabbing also remained unknown by this week’s news deadline. Cleary said police are still searching for the individual who committed the crime.

An update provided by Freyman yesterday morning indicated – following consultation with the RCMP – the hold and secure had been lifted.

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