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Student in Langley Secondary lockdown won't be charged

The 17-year-old man who sparked a tense two-hour lockdown at Langley Secondary School last Tuesday will not be charged with a criminal offense.

Langley RCMP said that the youth, who attends the school, was taken into custody after police received numerous calls about someone entering the school with a weapon.

The youth had a replica handgun, which police seized.

Cpl. Holly Marks said that the student co-operated with investigators and was released from custody to the care of his parents.

No charged will be laid because “no one felt threatened,” Marks said.

Students “considered the youth’s actions ‘playing around’ and all in fun,” she added.

Marks said that the youth exercised poor judgement, which resulted in a huge police presence at the school. Forty officers, included the Emergency Response unit and Air One, converged on the 56 Avenue school.

Next door, Christian Life Assembly was also locked down, meaning church staff and students and teachers from the ESL school could not leave. The air space above Langley Regional Airport, which is opposite the two facilities, was closed down by Transport Canada.

Marks said that the police response “was proportionate to the information received (and) given the identical circumstances, police resources would be deployed in the same manner.”

Students initially thought the drama was a drill, and one student said that everyone “thought it was a joke until text messages started going through that there were cop cars outside.”

Many students had been in a school gym for an assembly, and were told to stay there. Each student was searched.

“We only realized it was serious when we heard the panic in the voice over the announcements,” said Georgia Ellenwood, 15, who spoke to The Times after the lockdown ended.

“Any time you have a situation like this, it needs to be debriefed,” said Langley Board of Education communications officer Craig Spence.

“We need to talk about what did work, what may have not worked.

Spence added that the reaction to how the lockdown was handled has been mostly positive.

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