Shocking allegations about a thwarted school shooting in rural Nicosia have been dismissed by police, who said the claim was blown out of proportion after a parents association official alluded to the incident when he told parliament there was tension in the community due to migration.
During a House census committee hearing on Tuesday, the head of a parents association in Kokkinotrimithia told members of parliament that police had been called to investigate a possible school shooting plot late last year.
Polys Polykarpou, who heads the PA association at Kokkinotrimithia’s Regional Junior High, told reporters he had no authorization to speak about the incident in rural Nicosia but decided to tell committee members due to “intense indignation” in the local community.
'We have reached a point where things we saw happening in other countries, in America for example and thinking they would not happen here, are now things we are having to avert'
“We have reached a point where things we saw happening in other countries, in America for example and thinking they would not happen here, are now things we are having to avert,” Polykarpou told reporters.
According to Polykarpou, a foreign student at the junior high allegedly told classmates he would carry out a school shooting, with the local rep saying the information was then relayed to a teacher who told the school administration that alerted the police.
Local media described the boy as a foreign national while clarifying his family’s immigration status was not based on asylum. The child’s nationality was not immediately known.
Police spokesperson Christos Andreou, who was a guest on state radio Wednesday morning, confirmed that an incident was investigated in December but officers found the claims to be untrue.
“Officers investigated the incident and found no basis for the allegation,” Andreou said.
Polykarpou, who was asked to give more details, said no gun had been found but a school map was discovered in the student’s home.
Andreou confirmed there was no gun but also added no other evidence had been found to suggest the boy was trying to plan a school shooting.
“This case has been blown out of proportion,” Andreou said, while adding that he expected social services could possibly be keeping an eye on the situation.
No information or comment about bullying
A Police press officer has declined to say whether any other complaint was filed in connection with the incident, while Knews was unable to establish whether bullying was suspected in the case.
Last year nationalist party ELAM, which presides over the House census committee, said it would use its leadership role to focus mainly on the migration question.
Other issues discussed during the committee hearing included reports about rural Nicosia where foreigner persons from the Pournara migrant camp were harassing local residents and that police were not taking action.