Parents upset that Henrico waited 30 hours to report alleged kidnapping at school

Posted at 12:21 AM, May 22, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-22 08:30:50-04

HENRICO COUNTY, VA (WTVR) -- It is a story that is shocking the Henrico School community.

An 18-year-old student at Varina High School was charged with kidnapping a 16-year-old student just before 9 a.m. Monday morning.

Police said it happened in the school parking lot and that Austin Martin forced the girl into his car by showing a gun.

But what has parents outraged is that the school did not inform parents of the incident until Tuesday afternoon - more than 30 hours after the alleged incident took place.

"Why didn't you let the other parents know before? Suppose something had happened at the same time to another girl. What would you do then?" Betsy Walker said.

CBS 6 went to Henrico School leaders to find out why.

Henrico spokesman Andy Jenks admitted that the school system had received complaints over this issue, but emphasized that the district waited until it had the correct information.

"We work very hard to communicate in a very timely and effective manner and in order to be timely and effective you have to have accurate information," Jenks said.

Jenks also said that the fact the high school was administering exams to students on Tuesday factored in their decision to remain quiet.

"Our students deserve to take their exams in a an environment that has as few distractions as possible," Jenks added.