Person of interest developed as authorities investigate social media threat against local school divisions

SOUTHAMPTON Co., Va. – Authorities are investigating a social media school threat made against multiple local school divisions.

The Southampton County Sheriff’s Office told News 3 authorities were alerted Wednesday to the threat, which included Sussex, Surry and Greenville Counties. Deputies in Southampton County were advised that the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police and the FBI had begun the investigation into the threat earlier in the week.

The sheriff’s office said a person of interest had been developed and that the person lived in Sussex County.

While the threat is not believed to be credible, the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office said it is working with Southampton County Public Schools to maintain a safe environment for students and staff.

Dr. Gwendolyn Shannon, superintendent for Southampton County Public Schools, issued the following statement Thursday:

Dear Parents and Community Members,

The Southampton County Sheriff’s Office has informed me that a threat was made on social media against several school divisions and other entities in our area. The Sheriff’s Office is working collaboratively with other law enforcement agencies to address the threat. 

School officials and district administration are working in coordination with law enforcement to ensure that all necessary steps are taken for the safety of our students and staff. We will have an increased police presence in our schools as the investigation continues and until a resolution is reached. 

The safety and welfare of each student and staff are paramount to our district and all threats, credible or not, are taken seriously.

Sincerely, 

Gwendolyn Shannon, Ph.D.

Division Superintendent

News 3 has also reached out to the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office for more information.

Download the News 3 app for updates. 

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