RCMP have revealed two suspects, a 12-year-old and 10-year-old, in connection to a weekend break-in at a Maple Ridge elementary school that has resulted in the school being closed for repairs, police announced Monday morning.
Police said they were called to Fairview Elementary (12209 206 St.) on Sunday around 7:30 a.m. after motion alarms were triggered.
“Frontline Police and the Integrated Police Dog Services attended and searched the school observing substantial property damage which has resulted in the school being closed for repairs,” said Cst. Julie Klaussner with Ridge Meadows RCMP.
“The investigation revealed two suspects and subsequently a 12-year-old was arrested and a 10-year-old in accompaniment was identified,” she added.
The Ministry of Children and Family Development is now involved, police said.
“This was an isolated incident and there is no risk to the public or students at the school,” Klaussner noted.
The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District issued a letter to families of Fairview Elementary yesterday explaining that the interior of the building had been vandalized and due to “significant” damage the school will not open Monday, and as a result instruction will move online.
“While we don’t yet know the full scope of the work that will be required, we anticipate that the school will remain closed for in-classroom instruction this week,” said Jenn Gallop, acting principal of the elementary school.
Families who are able to support online learning from home are asked to email the student’s teacher by 3 p.m. Monday (Nov. 16) “to advise if you will require a district-issued device or if you have technology at home that your child can use.”
A staff list is available on the school website at elementary.sd42.ca/fairview/staff-list/.
Each student’s teacher will provide families with additional information about when online instruction will begin, the district said.
“If you are not able to support online learning from home for your child during this week and urgently require assistance because of this arrangement, please contact either myself (Jennifer_Gallop@sd42.ca) or vice principal Nicole McKenzie (Nicole_McKenzie@sd42.ca) by noon on Monday (Nov.16), so that we can discuss options and put supports in place for your family,” said Gallop.
The school is currently closed as RCMP conduct their investigation.
“I am sorry to have to share this unfortunate news,” said Gallop. “We will provide you with an update on the timeline for school re-opening as soon as we are able to access the school and the district is able to make a full assessment.”
While the school prepares to switch to online instruction student can access the “first five days of the Remote Learning Fall 2020 learning activities” at gss.sd42.libguides.com/fairviewlibrary.
Shawna Hunter started a Go Fund Me campaign to help the school staff rebuild “their wonderful spaces again.”
“We know how much the staff put their hearts into their classrooms and school for our kids,” the online campaign says. “Now all of their hard work is ruined.”
The online fundraiser aims to raise $5,000. As of Monday morning it had raised nearly $350.
The fundraising page can be found at gofundme.com/f/Helping-the-Amazing-Staff-at-our-school.