VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A Virginia Beach teacher has pleaded guilty after he made threats to Corporate Landing Middle School earlier this year.

10 On Your Side’s Hayley Milon was in the courtroom Wednesday and says John Dupont pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace. The judge said the charge would be dropped after one year pending good behavior.

Dupont taught technology education at Corporate Landing Middle School, and court documents show that he was arrested in late January for allegedly telling a faculty member “I’m gonna shoot up the school tomorrow, but I don’t have a gun.”

John Dupont (Photo courtesy: VBSO)

Dupont’s attorney, Mike Robusto, told 10 On Your Side outside the court room Wednesday that this happened because Dupont took a student’s phone away. The student then told administration that Dupont assaulted him.

Robusto continued by saying that the administration had to suspend Dupont while they investigated the incident, and while walking out of the school he allegedly said to a teacher in passing “What do they think I’m going to do shoot up the school? I don’t even have a gun.” 

The teacher then reported what Dupont said as a threat, according to Robusto.

This guilty plea comes after many schools across Hampton Roads have been experiencing threats. A spokesperson for the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office sent the following statement about recent school threats.

For years, we have seen students charged with criminal offenses, face disciplinary action at school, and even held in secure detention for making verbal, written, and electronic threats.  All threats are taken seriously by this office, even those the suspect may not intend to carry out.  We’ve dedicated countless hours to speaking to students at all levels – elementary, middle, and high school – with the goal of conveying to them how serious the consequences can be.

Statement from the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney regarding recent threats to Hampton Roads schools

Dupont’s next hearing is scheduled for April 24, 2024.