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What prompted increased police presence at Midlothian Middle School

Police chief: 'Please don’t like, share, or otherwise reinforce threats of violence on social media'
Midlothian Middle School
Posted at 9:16 AM, Apr 15, 2023

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. – There was an increased police presence at Midlothian Middle School Friday after Chesterfield Police said a student was overheard making a threatening statement to a classmate on Wednesday.

Officers and administrators spoke to that student and determined those threats were not credible, but police did issue juvenile petitions for making threats against the student.

Midlothian Middle School
Midlothian Middle School

Chesterfield Police Chief Jefferey Katz is calling on schools to take stricter action when to comes to these threats.

The police chief released a statement Friday afternoon that said “students making overt threats of violence” should be expelled and “removed from our public school system permanently.”

“We are obligated to our community to provide a safe, nurturing learning environment for our students,” Katz wrote. “We have an obligation to provide a safe workplace for those members of our community dedicated to teaching, training, and counseling our next generation.”

Katz said that 14 people under the age of 18 have been arrested on murder charges over the past two years in Chesterfield County.

“That is an astonishing number, unlike anything I have seen in three decades of policing,” Katz wrote.

Additionally, the police chief urged parents and students to think before they post on social media.

“The panic and chatter erupting when overt threats are broadcasted on social media diminishes our ability to bring this safety to our children, teachers, and faculty,” he wrote. “Please don’t like, share, or otherwise reinforce threats of violence on social media.”

The chief urged parents to contact police about any “known or reasonably suspected criminal conduct within schools.”

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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