Boy released after alleged threat

THE boy at the centre of last week’s gun threat and lockdown at Woolgoolga High has been released from custody because police still aren’t exactly what happened.

“We’re trying to establish the validity of these allegations,” said Coffs/Clarence crime manager Detective Inspector Cameron Lindsay.

“All they are is allegations at this stage. We are trying to identify other people that may have heard these threats.

“We’re still talking to students and are working out the claims and counter-claims by various students to determine where the truth lies.

“At this stage it doesn’t appear that any firearm was produced. We haven’t been able to establish the presence of a weapon.”

Just as Woolgoolga High was going in at 8.50am on Friday, a boy, 14, reportedly told another student on the edge of the school grounds he had a firearm in his bag and he was going to shoot students.

Police confirmed the threat stemmed from a conflict the boy had with other students.

There are also reports the boy was suspended the day before.

But Woolgoolga High principal John Ward would yesterday not comment on the student concerned.

“I don’t talk about individual students,” Mr Ward told the Advocate.

“We are still following up the issues from Friday and are making further investigations today.”

He said the lockdown procedures had gone ‘perfectly well’ and the school regularly practiced emergency drills.

“The school is settled and calm and is getting on with business,” he said.

Mr Ward said when emergency situations arose at the school, counselling was provided when needed.

Mr Lindsay, meanwhile, said the school and police had responded appropriately on the day considering the nature of the threat.

During the lockdown, students and staff were confined to their classrooms and in many cases hid under their desks.

Police found the 14-year-old nearby and he was arrested and taken to Woolgoolga Police Station but was released from custody hours later without charge.

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