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School of the Nations closes after shooting of principal, violent threats

Last Updated on Monday, 28 January 2019, 8:19 by Writer

CLOSED: School of The Nations

School of the Nations announced that it would not be opening on Monday, in the wake of the shooting of its co-founder and principal, Brian O’Toole, amid persistent violent threats on Facebook, the institution said.

“In light of recent unfortunate events, we wish to advise that our school will be closed today, Monday, Janaury 28, 2019 as we assess our current security measures with an objective to ensuring that our students, staff and premises are safe and secure,” School of the Nations said.

O’Toole was shot to his hands at about 9 p.m. Sunday as he was entering his Prashad Nagar home. The bones in his left arm and forearm were shattered. The more than 20-year old institution informed that he was stable in the aftermath of the incident. “We are relieved to inform everyone that Dr. O’Toole is stable and well,” School of the Nations said.

School of the Nations stressed that “we once again assure you that our primary concern is for our students and staff and we will ensure that adequate measures are in place”.

Meanwhile, the O’Tooles son, Liam O’Toole, urged that the perpetrators be arrested swiftly. “We would ask that prayers also be said so that the individuals responsible for this act be caught as soon as possible,” Liam said.

Police did not go to the hospital and the crime scene until after midnight, although the incident occurred at about 9 p.m..

The shooting of Dr. O’Toole followed the recent expulsion of a student for making violent threats on Facebook. At a meeting on Sunday to discuss fresh threats on that Social Media platform, he informed the more than 300 parents that that student had been arrested.

Sunday’s emergency meeting was prompted by fresh threats on Social Media by an unknown person, who seemed aggrieved by a discriminatory act, to burn students with liquid. That person also posted a picture of someone holding a pistol. However, Mrs. Pam O’Toole said that picture was fake and had been taken from another website.

Someone seemingly associated with the school has been taking credit for the threats and the actual shooting. Shortly after the shooting, the person posted a Facebook about the incident. “You have been warned. His life is not and won’t only be the first. Like I said, there is a plethora of us out for your life,” the person said.

Hours before the principal was shot, he had sought to assure parents, teachers and students that security had been heightened. They included the hiring of armed security guards, no vehicle access to the school, random searches of bags and monitoring of students’ behaviours.

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January 2019