Princess Margaret Secondary School Principal Roger Wiebe sent a letter to parents to notify them of “unconfirmed information” that non-students may attend the annual sunset party, potentially making “an unsafe environment involving weapons.” Photo courtesy Google Street View

UPDATED: Penticton RCMP warns of threat to high school students’ sunset party

‘I am shocked that some parents even drive their children to this party,’ RCMP Supt. Ted De Jager says

UPDATE: 4:30 p.m.

A youth has reportedly made “veiled threats to cause problems” at the annual sunset party, being held tonight, according to Penticton RCMP Supt. Ted De Jager.

“The nature of the threats varied, so I cannot comment on specifics, only to say that this was immediately assigned to an investigator and remains under investigation, which includes direct interaction with the youths involved,” De Jager said.

De Jager noted that the “infamous” sunset party, an unofficial graduation party that occurs each year, is not endorsed by the school district, public service agencies or the RCMP.

“In fact, I would like to take this opportunity to advise parents of high school age children that this party is a very dangerous undertaking. The location is purposefully remote, is out of range of most emergency services and is a sensitive area prone to risk of fire damage,” De Jager said.

Over the past several years, on top of a fatal stabbing at the party in 2011, De Jager noted the party has been host to “several aggravated assaults, sexual assaults, numerous fights and assaults and high levels of intoxication in under age youth.”

Jamie Wolanski pleaded guilty to manslaughter, the lesser count to his initial murder charge, and was sentenced to six years in prison in 2013.

“I am shocked that some parents even drive their children to this party and offer their tacit approval to these activities. Many of the attendees are over 19 years of age, are no longer associated to high school and provide liquor to youth in attendance,” De Jager said.

“The Penticton RCMP endorses dry grad parties and ceremonies. The legal drinking age in B.C. is 19. Anyone who provides liquor to those under 19 years of age commits an offence and could be held liable in criminal or civil proceedings.”

—-

ORIGINAL: 3 p.m.

Penticton RCMP sent a warning to Princess Margaret Secondary School over apparent threats against the students’ annual sunset party, according to a letter to parents from the school’s principal.

In the letter, Roger Wiebe told parents the school received contact from police regarding “unconfirmed information that non-high school students plan to attend the event and that may create an unsafe environment involving weapons.”

“The school sees the party as a community/non-school event but felt it is important that you are aware of the potential danger to your child. Community partnership is important in ensuring we collectively maintain a safe environment for all,” Wiebe wrote.

In a statement, school district Superintendent Wendy Hyer had little to say, due to the fact that the allegations surround non-students, only relaying the letter sent by Wiebe.

“I cannot confirm that a threat has been made; this is something that the police are investigating. As always, we caution parents about letting their children attend this event as there have been various safety concerns over the past years as many of the folks who attend are not graduates, but older individuals,” Hyer said.

Penticton RCMP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The unsanctioned annual event, which takes place in the Upper Carmi area each year after the school year, has been the site of significant violence over the years.

Jamie Wolanski was sentenced in 2013 to six years in prison for manslaughter after the fatal stabbing of Andrew McAdam in 2011.

And in January this year, Aaron Jack-Kroeger was sentenced to 15 months in jail on charges of assault causing bodily harm for his part in a swarm attack on a peer at the 2015 sunset party.

That attack had left the victim with a significant concussion and about $5,000 in dental work.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Plan in works to keep Salmon Arm’s homeless people warm in extreme weather

Advocate aims higher, wants a 24/7 friendship centre operating in city

CSRD’s plan to create economic development society meets resistance

Electoral Area E director wants to withdraw area from the proposal

A Salmon Arm mortgage investment corporation faces BC Securities hearing

Securities commission alleges misrepresentations and false or misleading statements in documents

Salmon Arm prepares for Rogers Hometown Hockey

Businesses and residents encouraged to wear jerseys, show their hockey spirit

UBCO students raise funds for those affected by Philippine volcano eruption

All proceeds will be donated to the Philippine Red Cross

B.C.-based Coulson Aviation C-130 crashes in Australia

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

New nasal spray launched in Canada to combat hypoglycemic shock in diabetics

Baqsimi is a nasal spray contains three milligrams of glucagon

Prices for recreational marijuana in B.C. down from a year ago

New inflation figures show gasoline, housing and certain kinds of food cost more

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Empty speedboat sinks off Kelowna shore on Okanagan Lake

This is the third report of a boat found in the lake in the past two weeks

Most Read