Student arrested after threatening post
Prosecutor: Teen had no way to carry out threat
DENTON — Caroline County officials assured parents Monday that Colonel Richardson High School is in no danger after a student at the school made a social media post at about 9 p.m. Sunday night, threatening to come to the school and shoot students Monday.
The Caroline County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office and the Maryland State Police, arrested the student just a few hours after he allegedly made the threatening post.
Officials were not able to identify the student because he is a juvenile, but said he was in the custody of Caroline County Department of
Juvenile Ser vices.
Caroline County Public Schools Superintendent Patricia Saelens met with local law enforcement officials Monday, and assured parents the school is safe for students, and will continue to be a safe place for students.
“Last night, we received notification that a threat had been made towards Colonel Richardson High School via a social media platform,” she said during Monday’s press conference. “Multiple students, staff and community members reported the threat to local law enforcement, various administrators and the state’s new ‘Safe Schools Maryland’ tip line. The threat was swiftly investigated by the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office, the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office and the Maryland State Police, and the youth is currently in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Services.
“We can assure the public that this matter has been addressed to the fullest extent by local law enforcement,” she said. “Due to the involvement of a youth, we cannot provide any additional details. Local law enforcement continues to work with us to ensure the students and staff safety, which is our number one priority.
“We are deeply appreciative of the students, staff and community members who shared this information with us in a timely manner, and thank them for following the ‘See Something, Say Something’ protocol,” Saelens said.
Caroline County interim State’s Attorney Joe Riley, Caroline County Sheriff Randy Bounds, MSP 1st Sgt. Frank Stanco and CCPS Assistant Superintendent Milton Nagel joined Saelens for Monday’s press briefing.
“We were able to do an investigation and find there was no way to carry out the threat that he is alleged to have made,” Riley said.
Saelens said 45 percent of Colonel Richardson High students and 32 percent of Colonel Richardson Middle School students did not attend Monday. The middle school is located on the same campus as the high school. She said the students would be given an excused absence for Monday.
“We are hopeful that students will return back to school tomorrow,” she said. “With our relationship and partnership with law enforcement, we are sure school is a safe environment.”
Bounds said while there was an extra law enforcement presence at the high school Monday, school resource officers remain at the school year-round.
He also praised the community for quickly notifying law enforcement of the threat.
“The response time was almost immediate,” he said. “As soon as it was posted, our phones started ringing, and police officers were on the road immediately. The school resource officer from that particular facility was activated immediately. We ended up with an arrest in approximately two and a half to three hours.
“We are very happy about the response we received, both on social media and through the new tip system in Maryland,” he said. “We did receive tips through that. It worked as it was designed. We want to thank the public, both adults and children, for getting that word to us as quickly as possible.”
To report a school threat, call 1-833-632-7233 or visit Maryland Center for School Safety at www.safeschools md.org.
From left, Maryland State Police 1st Sgt. Frank Stanco, Caroline County Sheriff Randy Bounds, Caroline County Public Schools Superintendent Patricia Saelens. Caroline County interim State’s Attorney Joe Riley and CCPS Assistant Superintendent Milton Nagel meet to provide information about the student arrested for making an online threat against Colonel Richardson High School.