Aug. 19, 2014
Charlottesville Police are investigating a threat at a school that came one day before the start of classes.
Police say they found a hand-written note at Clark Elementary School Tuesday morning, and it contained a threat against Charlottesville schools and students.
"I'm pretty angry," said Dr. Rosa Atkins, superintendent of Charlottesville schools, "that anyone would seize an opportunity to in any way try to disrupt the opening of school."
Atkins sent out a notification Tuesday evening to all parents of city school students.
"The threat was against all of our schools and our students, so we wanted to make sure that all of our families had the information," Atkins said. "When something like this happens, there's a laser focus on our students and on making sure that we keep the environment as normal as possible."
School will open Wednesday morning as planned, including all of the typical programs before and after school. Dr. Atkins says there will be increased security from police, but declined to give the specifics of what type of security. She also said every school will hold a lockdown drill on the first day.
This type of threat has been rare at Charlottesville schools. Dr. Atkins says, this is just the second threat like this in the past nine years.
Below is the letter sent by Superintendent Dr. Rosa S. Atkins:
"Dear CCS families –
"This is Dr. Rosa Atkins, Superintendent of Charlottesville City Schools. Today is Tuesday, August 19. Earlier today, Charlottesville Police were called to Clark Elementary School to investigate a threat made against Charlottesville Schools and their students. The threat was conveyed by a hand-written note left at the school this morning.
"The school administration and the police department view any threat made to the schools and students as serious and credible until a resolution is reached. Therefore, with the approval of the school administration, the police department will be implementing security protocols at all City schools.
"In consultation with the police, we have decided to open schools as scheduled tomorrow and to hold all normal activities, including recess and before- and after-school programs. As a precautionary measure, each school will hold a security drill during the day tomorrow.
"Due to the nature of this investigation, we cannot provide any further details related to the threat or the security protocols that will be in place. As we have updates, we will be in touch. If you have further questions, please contact your child’s school.
"Please be assured that we are working closely with the Charlottesville Police and taking measures to keep our staff and students safe. I’m sorry to begin the school year on this note, but we will look forward to seeing students tomorrow. Have a good, safe evening."