RPS responds to exasperated parents after Huguenot High incident

Posted at 6:38 PM, Mar 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-19 18:39:31-04

RICHMOND, Va - As parents flocked to Huguenot High School Monday morning following reports of a school threat that turned out to be false, many voiced concern that the school district did not notify parents of what was happening at the school.

Huguenot High School parents expressed frustration directly to Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras during an afternoon update he held for parents. Multiple parents told CBS 6 they heard about the situation from their students, who were locked down inside the building.

"You haven't found a gun, a pop gun, a dart gun, BB gun or nothing. . . You got all these parents here, but ain't nobody told us nothing!” said Artie Cofield.

"I want my child out of here. I've been out here for two and a half hours, and somebody just came and said something. Just now. And it's not fair to us at all,” said Antoinette Brooks.

CBS 6 took those parents concerns to RPS.

School officials said it has always been their policy to alert parents to potential threats after the police have given the all clear. The exception, according to school officials, is if students are in danger and need to be evacuated, which was not the case Monday at Huguenot.

Over a dozen police responded to Huguenot High on Monday.

"It allows us to share the most up to date and accurate information possible with our parents. Sharing information prematurely only fuels the rumors and adds to misinformation,” Kenita Bowers, Director of Communications for RPS, wrote in an email to CBS 6.

Following a school lockdown, Bowers said RPS Safety and Security officials meet with Richmond Police to conduct and internal debrief of the specific situation. Bowers said threat assessments are "routinely conducted to identify areas of improvement.”

Cofield said in the event of a potential threat, school officials should notify parents earlier in the process.

"I wouldn't have known anything. I was just going to the UPS Store to mail something back to Amazon,” he said. "My kid has never rode the bus since he's been in school, but you'll call me and tell me when bus 239 is late. You'll call me for everything else, but [not] something that's like this.”

Richmond Police said the initial call came into dispatch shortly after 10:30 a.m. about a threat made inside the school. RPS officials said someone reported to police that someone had threatened another person with a weapon.

Huguenot High School was placed on lockdown for several hours while RPD did a thorough sweep of the building. Officials said no weapon was found.

RPS said they continue to investigate the incident, and appropriate disciplinary action would be taken pending the outcome of that investigation.

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