Bayside High School was the focus of a lot of police attention and parental worry today. The cause was reportedly the rumor of some sort of threat that spread through the student body.
School officials confirm that they alerted parents to the situation by way of the Alert Now instant messaging service. Police say officers were on the campus investigating. But the principal says it appears there was no reason for alarm. The purported threat was apparently just a rumor and spread through inappropriate use of social media.
The first thought might be to dismiss these events as perhaps nothing more than a high school student's prank. But, as the school's principal observed in his message to parents, there can be very serious consequences.
On one end of the scale is the risk of school discipline. On the other is the possibility of a juvenile facing criminal charges and the risk of a conviction that becomes a drag on a young person's prospects for the future. That's not a situation that should be met without the help of an attorney.
In the situation at Bayside today, school officials said there was no apparent credible threat. Still, they seemed to take measured steps to ensure the safety of the students in their charge. Police were called, but classes were not dismissed. Parents were also given the choice of picking up their children if they felt that was necessary, and some reportedly did.
At the time this is written, there is no word about whether any students are likely to face discipline in connection with the events.
Source: WVEC-TV, "Virginia Beach Police investigate social media rumor about school threat," Feb. 26, 2014