Phone threat locks down high school
State Police, Sheriff’s department respond
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.
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.
Parents and family members wait in the parking lot of Dinwiddie Middle School during the lockdown at Dinwiddie High School on Wednesday.
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.
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Scheniqua Woodside, a Dinwiddie resident whose son is inside Dinwiddie High School, shows text messages from her son during the lockdown.