. - There was stepped up security at Colonial Heights Middle School Friday just hours after police had to take a teenager into custody.
Officers say the 8th grader drew an image of a gun in the school bathroom and then wrote a date next to it. He now faces one
felony and one misdemeanor. The threat caused such an uproar, nearly 30% of students skipped class because their parents kept them home.
A letter went home with students from Colonial Heights Middle School Friday from the school's principal saying in part "The safety of our students and staff remains a priority."
It comes as extra police officers were on hand at arrival and dismissal.
"The kids come home from school and the school bus unloads right on the corner there," says Ernest Wray who lives just a few doors away from the school.
Wray is shocked to learn of the news.
"Just drawing a gun sometimes don't mean anything unless he made a threat with it," he said.
Police considered it to be a threat because the 8th grader wrote the date November 5th next to the image.
"This morning after school started, investigators were able to locate that individual," said Sgt. Rob Ruxer.
The middle school student is now charged with a felony for writing a threat on school property, and a misdemeanor for destruction of property.
"Students or anybody who sees this needs to realize how serious a charge like this is…this individual could be facing detention time…It's not a joke to write a threat like this on the wall," Sgt. Ruxer added.
Friday, a quarter of the students who attend Colonial Heights Middle stayed home as a result of the chaos.
"Especially the parents, that's where it starts at, in the home. A parent should know what he's doing and what's on his mind," Wray added.
At last check, police did not know the motive behind the threat nor the significance of the date November 5th, but they do plan to have more officers at the school on that date as well, just as a precaution.
Copyright 2015 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved