Fake kidnapping threat, school space concerns
By Angela Espinoza, News Editor
RCMP revealed that on January 7, a woman in Taiwan received a fake threat that her son in Coquitlam had been kidnapped. The callers demanded ransom money and reportedly faked sounds of a struggle over the phone.
Police as well as several family members were contacted in an attempt to resolve the issue. The son was eventually located and found safe with the help of Coquitlam RCMP.
Tri-City News reported that fake kidnapping calls are often made in Taiwan, but shared that regardless of location, police should be the first persons contacted when there is the possibility of a kidnapping.
“Though this incident turned out to be a scam, we take these kinds of reports very seriously,” said Corporal Jamie Chung in a public statement.
Parents in the city of Coquitlam are raising concerns over lack of school space for future students.
The concerns came as a result of potential housing discussion at a January 26 public hearing in which inviting more families to the city was a goal. Space for a new elementary school was also discussed, but some are concerned there won’t be enough room.
Mayor of Coquitlam Richard Stewart reportedly encouraged discussion of school space, but stated such decisions are at the hands of “provincial government and school district 43,” according to Tri-City News.
“I can promise you that there are members of council here that focus a whole lot of attention on this [school availability] even though we don’t have control over it,” Stewart said at the hearing.
Aspects of this story were covered in the previous issue of the Other Press.
The New Westminster school board’s recently approved Gender and Sexual Diversity Inclusion policy has become a social issue for some local ministers.
According to Tri-City News, Olivet Baptist Church associate pastor Grant Hill has openly disapproved of aspects of the policy. While he defended the safety of the students regarding their respective orientations is important, Hill’s concern was with a potential lack of understanding regarding persons of different religious backgrounds.
The statement in the policy that Hill critiqued said that, without an inclusive environment, respective students “are frequently the targets of homophobic, transphobic, and heterosexist behaviours.”
“We would affirm biblical marriage is between one man and one woman. So we would interpret the scriptures that way,” Hill told Tri-City News.
New Westminster Community Church’s lead pastor Paul Dirks also stated concerns with overtly encouraging what could potentially be experimental phases in young children. Dirks added that due to the high suicide rate amongst LGBT youths, encouraging behaviour could pose a similar threat.
President of the New West Pride Society Jeremy Perry, however, has fully approved of the new policy.
“I like that there’s actually action-oriented language in it. It’s not only acknowledging an issue, but forces the school board into action into creating an inclusive environment in our schools,” Perry told Tri-City.