VBCPS - Charting the Course
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Lauren Nolasco
Date: 02/21/18 Phone: 757.263.1234
News Release No. 038 Fax: 757.263.1010
Email: lauren.nolasco@vbschools.com

Hampton Roads superintendents speak out on school safety

The leadership of school divisions throughout Hampton Roads are banding together to send a simple message to students: Threats, including social media threats, are dangerous and will not be tolerated.

Sadly, following national tragedies, such as last week's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, it is not uncommon for school divisions to see an increase in threats and rumors about threats. This has been the case for many divisions here in Hampton Roads.

"Again and again this week, we have seen examples of our students using poor judgment online," said Dr. Aaron Spence, superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS). "There is no excuse for this behavior, and as a school community, we must speak out against such insensitive and fear-inducing action. Any threat of violence is not only not funny, it is not appropriate and not acceptable."

In a joint letter to parents from 13 of the local school divisions, area superintendents shared that students who make threats will not only be subject to school discipline, but also possible criminal charges. The divisions work closely with local police to take swift and immediate action when a threat is reported.

In the letter, the superintendents also shared tips to parents and families on how they can partner with schools to provide safe environments for students to learn and grow. These tips include being aware of your child's social media presence as well as stressing to children that threats are not taken lightly and bear serious consequences.

This letter has been shared with families across Hampton Roads, including through an Alert Now message to all VBCPS parents. It is also available on the homepage of the school division's website, vbschools.com.

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Department of Media and Communications, vbcpsweb@vbschools.com

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