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A security staffer will ride bus No. 66 until a “written threat” has been fully investigated.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Police are investigating a threat involving a school bus and until the matter is resolved a Roanoke City Public Schools security staffer will ride that bus.
Principal Joe Jablonski said in an automated call placed Monday to parents of Patrick Henry High School students who ride bus No. 66 that police discovered “a written threat directed at the bus.”
The route serves students in the Garden City neighborhood and along Riverland Road through portions of southeast Roanoke.
Roanoke police spokesman Scott Leamon said in an email that police discovered the threat after responding to a report of suspicious activity Thursday evening in the 2900 block of Garden City Boulevard. There officers found a glass jar with firecrackers and what they believed to be flammable liquid. He said they also found a letter, dated Aug. 19, “containing threatening words directed at a Roanoke city school bus.” Leamon, who would not comment further on the contents of the letter, said there had been no reported issues with the bus or its students.
He said police developed a possible juvenile suspect Sunday afternoon and made contact with the juvenile’s parent. The school system was notified of the incident Sunday. Leamon said the delay in notifying schools officials was a result of police investigating the situation.
There is currently no evidence that the suspect made attempts to carry out the written threats, and the investigation is ongoing. There have been no charges brought against the juvenile.
Schools spokesman Justin McLeod said the school system was informed of the threat Sunday afternoon and “took immediate action.” He said schools officials checked the bus Monday morning and had a school security supervisor ride with students to and from school Monday.
McLeod said the school division is doing everything it can to ensure student safety. He declined to provide details about the threat, citing student confidentiality and the ongoing police investigation.
It is the second incident involving Patrick Henry High School in a week; in the first case details also were limited . McLeod said Monday the two incidents are not related.
Last week Jablonski placed an automated call alerting parents to “a bullying situation that resulted in several threatening statements being made.”
McLeod declined to comment on the specifics of that situation, citing student confidentiality.
In the most recent call, Jablonski said police are “aggressively investigating the matter.”
“I want to stress that your student’s safety is our first priority,” Jablonski said in the call. “Please feel confident that the school system is taking every possible precaution to ensure student safety.”
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