VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach Middle School student is in custody after police say threatening text messages were sent to another student.
A spokesperson with Virginia Beach City Public Schools confirmed the school went on external lockdown Monday morning.
Virginia Beach police spokesperson Tonya Pierce said the student who allegedly sent the texts is in custody.
Text msg threat to VB Middle School received by student. School Administration notified. VBPD notified. External Lockdown was in place but has since been lifted. Suspect identified and in custody. No injuries. Ongoing investigation.— Virginia Beach PD (@VBPD) October 29, 2018
Pierce said the lockdown has been lifted. The school’s principal sent a message to parents and guardians on Monday:
Good afternoon, VB Middle families. This is again Principal Bergren. I apologize for the multiple calls today, but I wanted to make you aware that our lockdown has been lifted and the student responsible for sending the text message was identified. The student is facing disciplinary action at the school and is now in police custody. Thank you for your understanding and your support of Virginia Beach Middle.
Monday’s lockdown comes following a series alleged threats at area schools last week.
VB Schools Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence sent out this message on Monday in response:
“We have seen an increase in these types of threats across the division. Virginia Beach City Public Schools takes these situations very seriously and has protocols in place for when these types of incidents arise. In each of the recent cases, risks were assessed by our team and the threats were investigated by VBPD. In three cases, students were apprehended, and appropriate disciplinary actions have been taken at the school level. In addition, all three students also are now facing multiple criminal charges. In each of the recent events, police found no evidence to substantiate the threats. We want to reiterate to parents that it’s important to speak to your children about the significance of using their best judgment. Threats of any kind are not acceptable, and students will be held responsible for their actions. I want to thank the students and families who came forward with information and helped administration and police in their investigations. We take the safety of our schools very seriously. The division’s Office of Safe Schools works hand-in-hand with the Virginia Beach Police Department, Virginia Beach Office of Emergency Management, the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services as well as other state and national experts to continue to bring best practices and state of the art security resources to the division and ensure our schools are safe and welcoming places to learn.”