Southampton Academy closes due to alarming online post

(Photo courtesy Southampton County Sheriff's Office)

COURTLAND, Va. (WAVY) — A startling Facebook post caused a school to shut its doors.

Southampton Academy officials decided to close on Friday, after a former student posted “potentially dangerous language” online.

According to the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office, the unidentified person wrote “today is a good day to kill… maybe Christmas” on Tuesday.

While the private school’s officials are not calling the post a “threat,” they made the decision to close Friday.

In an email sent to parents on Thursday, Headmaster Scott Wasdin stated,

Good evening my friends. We are sorry that many of you were understandably concerned by the School Reach message your family received this evening. Earlier today, my office was contacted by local law enforcement, informing us of a social media posting that included potentially dangerous language directed at local schools. It did not specifically reference the Southampton Academy campus, not did it name any student or staff member. However, our board, administration, and faculty takes nothing more seriously than the safety of your children and grandchildren. With that thought firmly in mind, we made the decision to cancel the academic day tomorrow, choosing to err on the side of tremendous caution with the well being of our students primarily in mind.

Wasdin told 10 On Your Side that the person who posted the status was a former student who did not graduate.

Major Gene Drewery, with the sheriff’s office, did not confirm that, but he did state that the person used to live in the area, and no longer does.

Drewery said that the person will not be charged, as “there is no crime.”

The Facebook post also prompted officials with the Southampton County Public School District to be on alert.

In a statement to 10 On Your Side, Superintendent Dr. Alvera Parrish said that “we are taking extra precaution to ensure the safety of our students and staff.”

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