Steward School closes on Valentine’s Day after threat made
HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) -The Steward School is set to reopen Wednesday after a threat was made to the school on Valentine’s Day.
School officials say the investigation into that threat is ongoing.
Parents got a message Monday night from the Steward School saying it would be closed on Valentine’s Day because of a threat. Henrico Police helped investigate, determining that the threat level was low. But as threats and school violence are becoming more common, NBC12 security expert Mike Jones says this is a good reminder for schools to have a plan.
“You can always back the response down, but you can never play catch up, so the most important thing for private schools, public schools, industries, community groups, have a plan for threats because sooner or later you will get one,” Jones said.
Jones says it’s common for schools and law enforcement to work together in situations like this. Henrico Police says they use threat assessments to determine the danger of a threat. They then work to mitigate it.
“With pre-planning, you can actually stop panic. We don’t want a weapon of mass disruption, we don’t want classes disrupted, we don’t want school buses put on the street and a panicked way to get kids home and parents rushing to save their children that causes harm,” Jones said.
As kids get ready to go back to school Wednesday, John Richardson-Lauve with ChildSavers is offering some tips to help parents talk to their kids about feeling safe. They say it’s essential for parents to keep an open line of communication with their kids when situations like this happen.
”Hopefully, those open lines of communication with our kids are things that we’ve already fostered over time, not in moments of crisis and urgency like this, but we want our kids to be able to feel safe, and one of the ways that they feel safe is being able to talk about their feelings, express themselves,” said Richardson-Lauve.
If you know anything about the incident, you are asked to call the police at 804-501-5000.
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