ARLINGTON, Va. – The Arlington County Police Department has investigated 30 school-related threats or complaints this academic year, with 13 having been reported since February 14, the day of the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida. These include alleged threats to commit serious bodily harm as well as reports from concerned parents and community members regarding individuals who have made suspicious comments or social media postings. Following a thorough investigation into each report, police determined there were no credible threats to the safety and security of the students, staff or schools.
The Arlington County Police Department continues to work with our partners at Arlington Public Schools to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for students and staff. All allegations of threats and suspicious activity are taken seriously and each report is properly investigated and documented by police. We all play an important role in keeping our school community safe and students and staff are most well-acquainted with what activity may be suspicious at their schools. The community is encouraged to continue reporting suspicious activity by calling the Emergency Communication Center at 703-558-2222 or by filing an online crime report. Tips can also be reported anonymously by calling Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.
The Arlington County Police Department encourages parents and guardians to talk to their children about the seriousness and possible consequences of making threatening statements. Following an investigation by police and a review by the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, those making threats to schools may be charged with Virginia Code §18.2-60 Threats of death or bodily injury to a person or member of his family; threats to commit serious bodily harm to a person on school property, a Class 5 felony; Virginia Code §18.2-83 Threats to bomb or damage buildings or means of transportation; false information as to danger to such buildings, etc.; punishment; venue, a Class 1 Misdemeanor; and/or Virginia Code §18.2-427 Use of profane, threatening, or indecent language over public airways or by other methods, a Class 1 Misdemeanor.