SCHOOL BRIEFS: Scary graffiti prompts police call

An apparent gun scare at Earl Marriott Secondary drew RCMP to the South Surrey high school last week.

Doug Strachan, spokesperson for the Surrey School District, said it was a “pencil-scrawled” reference to a shooting that sparked the investigation.

“It didn’t say anything about a school,” Strachan said of the barely visible writing noticed on the wall of boys’ washroom stall. “ ‘A shooting in three days’ is what it said.”

Police were at the school a number of times to investigate. Students were pulled from class and questioned, and lockers were searched to determine if a weapon was at the school.

“We’re satisfied the threat is not a credible threat,” Strachan said.

A second threat was discovered in a girls’ washroom Monday, but officials believe it is a copycat incident spurred by media attention.

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Green school for Cloverdale

Nearly $13 million has been approved for a new, environmentally friendly school in the Clayton area of Surrey.

The Cloverdale school has been designed according to sustainable design principles promoted by Canada Green Building Council. Features include:

- Better building and landscape design features such as a smaller building footprint, effective storm water management, light-coloured roofing, sun shades and tree retention and replacement during construction;

- Large windows that open in classrooms and more windows in other areas to allow better light and cleaner air;

- Drought-resistant and native plants requiring less water;

- Low toxicity materials, paints and finishes.

The Clayton elementary school will have space for about 450 kids. Construction is expected to begin next spring and be completed by fall 2009.

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Trustees’ way paid to convention

Surrey trustees have waived a policy that doesn’t allow them to submit their hotel bills for functions within the Lower Mainland.

The current Travel Expense Reimbursement policy contains the condition that “reimbursement for accommodation for local functions (within GVRD) will not be approved, as it is expected that attendees will arrange to travel from home each day.”

Secretary-treasurer Wayne Noye suggested travel today to Vancouver is more difficult than it used to be. The policy was waived so trustees can participate in the upcoming B.C. School Trustees’ Association Trustees’ Academy in December.

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