Last Thursday on March 8th, a school shooting threat surfaced on social media. The threat was made from one student to another over a Snapchat direct message.
Students from all over the county reposted and reported the threat to warn fellow teachers and students. The disturbing threat referenced three high schools in the county: Godwin, Deep Run, and Glen Allen.
According to the Henrico Police Department, a 16 year-old was arrested late Thursday night for “making threats of bodily injury to persons on school property. Henrico Police worked along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security. They deemed the threat was not credible.
The following day, the three mentioned schools had increased security from police officers in the county. Despite the arrest being made on Thursday night, there were still significant absences in each threatened school the next day. Parents and students alike did not feel that the schools were safe enough to return to on Friday March 9.
“It was a little nerve wracking being at school knowing somebody wanted to hurt us,” said Taylor Lee, a junior at Godwin High School.
“I think what struck me most was that prior to that threat, I had never walked into a work setting truly scared and overwhelmed to that capacity before,” said Mattie Stephens, a student teacher at Glen Allen High School.
“I felt burdened by the fact that the current reality for students as they walk into school each day includes fear,” she added.
This is the second threat to Glen Allen in the past two years with their bomb threat last March, which was also deemed not credible.
All county schools took precautions to ensure the safety of students.
“We take precautions every day to keep Freeman safe, many of which are behind the scenes,” said Assistant Principal of Freeman, John Marshall. “That morning, we took steps to ensure that all of our safeguards were in place, which they were,” he said.
“In general, that event was a great example of students and community members informing schools and law enforcement as soon as they saw the threatening message,” Mr. Marshall said. “We continue to encourage students and the community to let us know if they sense anything of this nature.”