A 19-year-old male has been charged in connection with a threat made against a Hamilton school which prompted it to be closed on Friday.

Hamilton police began an investigation on Wednesday into several threats made against schools in the city after written messages were discovered on bathroom stalls. It is unknown what these messages said.

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board issued letters about the investigation to three separate schools, including Westdale Secondary School, located near Main Street and Longwood Road South, where students were told there would be a police presence at the school on Friday.

However, Thursday evening the board issued another letter to Westdale students and families saying that the school would be closed on Friday as a precaution, due to new information “about a potential threat to school safety.”

Friday morning police said they made an arrest in connection with a threat at that school.

A 19-year-old male, who was not identified by police, has been charged with two counts of utter threat to cause death or bodily harm.

He has been released on an undertaking.

Police said threats have been written in nine different Hamilton schools and that they expect to make more arrests in the coming days.

"Hamilton Police recognize the importance of school safety and how a threat of this nature can be difficult for students, staff and their families. Police take incidents like these extremely seriously and will continue to work closely with the school boards to help identify the individuals responsible and lay the appropriate criminal charges where a suspect(s) is identified," they wrote in a news release.

The board said Westdale students and families will be sent another notice on Sunday about updates to reopening Westdale.

Social work services will be available for students when the school reopens.

Anyone with information is being asked to contact police at (905) 546-4925 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.


Threat at Richmond Hill School

Meanwhile, a high school in Richmond Hill was also closed on Friday for a police investigation.

Students at Alexander Mackenzie High School, located near Major Mackenzie Drive East and Yonge Street, are learning remotely today due to an "ongoing police investigation related to a threat," a York Region District School Board representative told CP24.

That school will reopen to students for in-person learning on Monday, June 6.

The threats in Hamilton and Richmond Hill come after two teenagers were shot with pellet guns on Tuesday inside Toronto high schools within hours of each other.

One incident happened at Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School and the other at Weston Collegiate Institute.

The victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Three teenage boys were arrested in connection with the incidents.