Student in police custody after threatening text sent against Virginia Beach Middle School

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Virginia Beach Middle School was on external lockdown due to a student receiving a threatening text message Monday morning.

The school went on lockdown around 11 a.m. and was lifted around noon, school officials said.

The student responsible is now in police custody and facing disciplinary action at the school.

Principal Dr. Alex Bergren sent out the following message:

“Good afternoon, Virginia Beach Middle families. This is Principal Dr. Alex Bergren. I am calling to you let know that, as a precaution, we are currently on an external lockdown after one of our students received a threatening text message. We do have extra police on campus who are investigating, and you may see them patrolling in the neighborhood. Instruction is continuing without interruption; however, I wanted to make you aware of our current status. I will update you as necessary throughout the day.”

Principal Dr. Alex Bergren sent out a second message once the lockdown was lifted:

“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.”

There were no injuries during the lockdown.

VBCPS Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence issued the following statement Monday night:

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.

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