Possible Threat Brings Response From PE Schools

Published 4:54 pm Tuesday, February 12, 2013

PRINCE EDWARD – Division Superintendent Dr. David Smith reported Tuesday morning through an email that the high school administration received a report that a student on Friday, February 8 made a threatening statement in a conversation. (He confirmed that the conversation was at the high school from one student to another student.)

Dr. Smith also confirmed the high school administration received the information mid-day Monday and that it was referred to law enforcement.

“The matter was immediately referred to law enforcement when it was received by administrators, and a thorough investigation was made,” the superintendent's email cited. “The student was removed from school, and the matter was concluded late last night. There was no evidence of weapons, and at no time was any Prince Edward student or staff member at risk of harm.”

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A release from Prince Edward County Sheriff Wesley Reed further clarified that the sheriff's office on Monday “…assisted the School Resource Officer at P.E. High School with a complaint concerning a student who was allegedly planning to bring a weapon onto the school campus. The incident was investigated, and there were no weapons found nor was there any probable cause for an arrest. The incident is being handled through school discipline. To reassure the safety of the children and the community, the sheriff's office has increased patrol on the school campus.”

Parents, Dr. Smith reported, were alerted by phone Tuesday morning.

“Because the investigation was going on,” Dr. Smith said, when asked why parents weren't alerted on Monday. “We couldn't send a communication while it was going on.”

Asked if they were looking at how credible the threat was at the time, the superintendent noted that's part of any investigation “but it was also once the school notifies law enforcement, it's also a law enforcement investigation.”

Dr. Smith said that it is ultimately his decision to notify parents if there is a credible threat.