VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A student was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace after threatening graffiti was found at Tallwood High School, officials say.
A spokesperson with Virginia Beach City Public Schools told 10 On Your Side the graffiti was found at the school on Thursday.
Tallwood Principal James Avila sent this message to parents and guardians following the discovery of the graffiti:
I do ask that you please share with your child that this behavior is unacceptable and will lead to disciplinary action at the school as well as possible criminal charges. If your child has any information regarding who might be responsible, please encourage them to share it with an administrator or police officer. Thank you.
Dr. Avila sent another message to families Friday afternoon after the arrest that stated:
I contact you again today to make you aware that the person responsible for our school’s graffiti has been identified and was arrested. Additional disciplinary action has been taken here at the school as well. I want to thank our students, staff members and families for their understanding and support.
The graffiti discovered Thursday comes more than a week and a half after a series of threats were made at area schools. Threatening graffiti found in an Ocean Lakes High School bathroom on Oct. 16 prompted a police investigation.
A Smithfield High School student was taken into custody after officials say he made a threat online.
That same day, a Landstown High School student was arrested for an alleged threat, which caused part of the building to be evacuated.
It was not immediately clear what charges the Tallwood student may be facing.
Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence issued a statement on the recent threats:
After reports surfaced of a threat written in a bathroom stall at one of our high schools, 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.