Friend sticks up for teen accused of Glen Allen High lockdown - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Friend sticks up for teen accused of Glen Allen High lockdown

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Henry Fletcher Henry Fletcher

12 Investigates is finding out more about the teen at the center of the Glen Allen lockdown.  Friends tell NBC12 they are reaching out to the 16-year-old. One friend says he believes there were signs that something was wrong.

Phones are the lifeline for many of these teenagers and that's how they connect. Some friends tells NBC12 there were tweets something was bothering this teenage boy. Now, those friends are sticking up for him, saying he's not a bad person.

"He's not a bad kid," said Henry Fletcher. He's been the teen's friends for four years.

Students say it was problems with an ex-girlfriend that set the 16-year-old off.

"I don't think anybody reached out to him and told him everything is going to be ok," said Fletcher.

Fletcher is sticking up for his friend, who NBC12 is not identifying because he is underage. He said the two met in group sessions at a family counseling center.

"He's been going through a lot and that doesn't take away from the fact he's trying to take a good kid," said Fletcher.

Fletcher said there were signs on Twitter that something was wrong.

"He would always retweet my depressing stuff, my sad stuff, stuff about my own feelings," said Fletcher. "I wish I had caught on to that and said, 'Yo, what's going on in your life?'"

As friends are now trying to reach the troubled teenager, school leaders are praising the way students and staff reacted to the lockdown.

"I just can't say enough how poised and how calm the students and staff were," said HCPS spokesperson Andy Jenks.

In the hours after the lockdown, HCPS got calls from parents concerning schools nearby.  Hungary Creek Middle and Echo Lake Elementary are both less than a mile away. Jenks said those parents also wanted a notification about the lockdown.

"One of the things we're taking back with us is how to increase those instant lines of communication - not just in that immediate vicinity, but to other people who naturally would be concerned whenever the schools are involved," said Jenks.

Friends of the teen say he also loves to skateboard and listen to music. In terms of how this student will be disciplined by the school district, school leaders say they will take up that issue but don't release information about that citing privacy laws. 

School leaders say it's also a good time to remind parents to double check their child's emergency contact at school.

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