Hampton high school threats unfounded

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – Two rumors circulating at Bethel High School Thursday were proved false by school officials and police.

10 On Your Side received calls and emails from concerned parents. Some even pulled their children out of school. But police said they’ve checked both out and found nothing to substantiate the threat.

The first was a possible threat on social media, according to officers.

Ralph Saunders, Bethel principal, sent out a voice alert saying no one has actually seen the message online:

“Based on interviews with students, no one has actually seen the threats on social media. The rumor is considered to not be credible – based on all that we know at this time. The health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority.

“We appreciate students sharing concerns with us so that we can check it out as quickly as possible. We have used all of our resources this morning to ensure that we have a safe learning environment for students. We apologize for any unnecessary concern your family may have experienced this morning.”

The second came around 12:30 p.m. when a student approached an official saying he or she might have seen another student on campus with a gun.

Out of precaution, Bethel and Phoenix Elementary were placed on lockdown while police investigated. The student who allegedly had a firearm was found, and no gun was located.

Phoenix and Bethel both sent out alerts after the school’s were closed for a time, but both are open now.

Saunders said Bethel has not been able to confirm the information in the rumors yet.

The two – a gun threat and a social media threat – do not appear to be connected, according to police.


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