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JUST IN: Gunston Middle School locked down due to threat | #schoolsaftey

(Updated at 3:35 p.m.) Gunston Middle School was placed in lockdown this afternoon due to a threat found in the school.

Initial reports suggest that a threat of violence at a specific time was found in a bathroom. Police responded to the scene and the school’s classrooms were locked down.

“Do not come to the school,” Arlington Public Schools initially said on social media.

No actual incidents of violence have been reported.

As of 2:45 p.m. the lockdown had been lifted in favor of a “secure the school” status and students were being escorted to buses as part of a controlled dismissal.

This is the latest in a series of threats against Arlington middle schools.

In March, Gunston was put in lockdown after “a message written inside a restroom stall referencing gun violence” was discovered. Last week another threat found in a Gunston girls’ bathroom prompted a police investigation. Swanson was locked down yesterday due to a phoned-in bomb threat.

In May, a Kenmore student was charged after an implied shooting threat was posted on social media.

Separately today, Wakefield High School families were informed of an alleged shooting threat. Principal Peter Balas sent the following to families today.

Dear Wakefield Families and Staff,

Late yesterday, Wakefield Administration was informed of a threat of violence overheard by several students. The specific threat reported involved “shooting up the class.”

The Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) and the APS Safety, Security and Emergency Management office were made aware of the threat, and they investigated the situation. Any students who have knowledge of this are asked to contact the school administration.

The preliminary investigation has not revealed an ongoing threat to the safety of the school community. Students are reminded that making threats, regardless of credibility, is unacceptable and in violation of the Student Code of Conduct and will result in disciplinary action by the school as well as a referral to law enforcement.

We appreciate the students who brought this to our attention and ask all members of our community to report any threats they may see or hear, whether they believe they are credible or not.

We always take threats of violence of any kind very seriously. The safety of our students and staff is our top priority and I want to thank the Wakefield community for your support and responsiveness, and if you hear or see something that concerns you, please let me or a member of our staff know immediately.

Arlington Public Schools has partnered with the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia’s Youth Violence Project to provide free threat assessment training for students and parents. This training program is designed for all students ages 12 and up and parents of all students in Arlington Public Schools. Additional information is available on the APS website.

James Jarvis and Jo DeVoe contributed to this report

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