Chesterfield Schools: Shooting threat at Thomas Dale HS 'not credible'

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Threats circulating on social media about a possible shooting at Thomas Dale High School were found to not be credible, according to Chesterfield Schools.

Police say a student made threatening comments during a conversation at lunch and, from there, they spread on social media. With the help from school resource officers, they were able to figure out who they believe made the threats. Police visited the home of the student and investigated the threats and determined they were not credible.

"Police determined there was no threat to the school, staff or students -- only that an inappropriate comment had been made," wrote Chesterfield Schools on its Facebook page. "School started on time as scheduled this morning, and students immediately got down to work."

Police did not increase their presence at the school.

One mom said she picked up her daughter from school Tuesday morning soon after she arrived, after learning there had been threats. She said the part that made her the most upset is that she never received an alert from the school system that there had been an issue.

The mom asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation against her daughter, a 10th grader at the school.

She said she didn't even know there was a threat, but given recent attacks and shootings throughout the country, she thought the school system could have done a better job of communicating.

"You know, they call on a regular basis with those recorded messages for lots of reasons. It would have just made me feel better to hear something directly from the school letting us know that this threat was out there, and it was investigated and it was taken care of," the concerned mom said.

While the threat was found to be harmless, police say students and parents did the right thing by reporting directly to the police department late last night what they thought they heard second- or third-hand.

"We encourage parents to take an active role in monitoring their children's activities online," said Chesterfield School officials. "Comments made in jest or otherwise on social media platforms, such as Instagram and SnapChat, are taken extremely serious by school officials and law enforcement."

The principal of Thomas Dale is sending out the following message to parents:

The below message will be shared with students at the end of school today. Please take time to review it and discuss it with your student tonight. Students and parents did the right thing late last night by reporting directly to the police department what they thought they heard second- or third-hand. We encourage parents to take an active role in monitoring their children's actions online.

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