Phone threat locks down high school

State Po­lice, Sher­iff’s de­part­ment re­spond

The Progress-Index - - FRONT PAGE - By John Adam Staff Writer

DINWIDDIE — For sev­eral tense hours out­side of Dinwiddie High School Wed­nes­day morn­ing, po­lice and school au­thor­i­ties locked down the high school and mid­dle school in re­sponse to a threat that was made against the high school.

Ac­cord­ing to Dinwiddie As­sis­tant Su­per­in­ten­dent Royal Gur­ley, a phone threat that ref­er­enced Dinwiddie High School was called into Peters­burg Po­lice dis­patch around 10:30 a.m. The phone used to make the threat was un­trace­able.

Though the ex­act na­ture of the threat was un­clear, law en­force­ment deemed the sit­u­a­tion se­ri­ous enough to alert the Dinwiddie Sher­iff’s of­fice, as well as the state po­lice.

Dinwiddie High School and Mid­dle School were put on lock­down as a “pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure”, as law en­force­ment swept both build­ings. Stu­dents were kept in their class­rooms dur­ing the lock­down.

No in­trud­ers were ever re­ported to en­ter ei­ther build­ing, and no weapons were ever re­ported ei­ther.

“We want to take ev­ery threat se­ri­ously,

“We want to take ev­ery threat se­ri­ously, and make sure the kids are 100 per­cent safe,” — Christi Clarke, Dinwiddie County Schools Public In­for­ma­tion Of­fi­cer.

and make sure the kids are 100 per­cent safe,” said Dinwiddie County Schools Public In­for­ma­tion Of­fi­cer Christi Clarke.

School and law en­force­ment of­fi­cials stressed that the schools were put on lock­down be­cause of the threat made, and that the stu­dents did not face im­mi­nent dan­ger.

The school made au­to­matic calls to all par­ents, no­ti­fy­ing them that the school was on lock­down. Con­cerned par­ents gath­ered in the park­ing lot of the mid­dle school where school of­fi­cials pro­vided what in­for­ma­tion was avail­able.

Scheni­qua Wood­side, a Dinwiddie res­i­dent whose son was in the high school dur­ing the lock­down, waited in the mid­dle school park­ing lot wait­ing for the lock­down to be lifted. She was on her way to work when she re­ceived a text from her son.

At 10:52 a.m. Wood­side’s son’s text read: “My school just put us on lock­down (sic). And the swat team is here with guns.”

Sev­eral par­ents, like Thomas Sanchez, heard the news over so­cial me­dia. Sanchez left work to come to the school after he saw the school had been put on lock­down.

An­other stu­dent still in­side the school and reached by Face­book said peo­ple in some class­rooms placed book­shelves in front of the door as a pre­cau­tion dur­ing the tense sit­u­a­tion.

“I al­most had an anx­i­ety at­tack,” said the stu­dent.

The lock­down was lifted and stu­dents were re­leased around 2 p.m.

[SCOTT P. YATES/PROGRESS-IN­DEX.COM]

Dinwiddie Sher­iff’s deputies are seen out­side a locked down Dinwiddie High School while au­thor­i­ties in­ves­ti­gate a threat­en­ing phone call made in ref­er­ence to the school on Wed­nes­day.

Dinwiddie Sher­iff’s deputy is seen out­side a locked down Dinwiddie High School while au­thor­i­ties in­ves­ti­gate a threat­en­ing phone call made in ref­er­ence to the school on Wed­nes­day.

Scheni­qua Wood­side, a Dinwiddie res­i­dent whose son is in­side Dinwiddie High School, waits in the park­ing lot of Dinwiddie Mid­dle School dur­ing the lock­down.

[SCOTT P. YATES/PROGRESS-IN­DEX.COM]

Par­ents and fam­ily mem­bers wait in the park­ing lot of Dinwiddie Mid­dle School dur­ing the lock­down at Dinwiddie High School on Wed­nes­day.

[KELSEY RE­ICHEN­BERG/PROGRESS-IN­DEX.COM]

The Li­ons Club of Colo­nial Heights Pres­i­dent Billy Pot­ter wel­comes at­ten­dees at the club's 70th An­niver­sary Cel­e­bra­tion at the Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 284 in Colo­nial Heights on Thurs­day, Oct. 5.

The Li­ons Club of Colo­nial Heights mem­bers cel­e­brate the club's 70th an­niver­sary at the Amer­i­can Le­gion in Colo­nial Heights on Thurs­day, Oct. 5.

Scheni­qua Wood­side, a Dinwiddie res­i­dent whose son is in­side Dinwiddie High School, shows text mes­sages from her son dur­ing the lock­down.

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