WATCH: Lockdown over at EC Glass High in Lynchburg
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - UPDATE: The lockdown at EC Glass High School has been lifted. School officials say students and staff are safe.
EARLIER STORY: Dismissal Monday at EC Glass High School may not be happen until after 4 p.m. for all students, as a lockdown is in place.
Lynchburg City Schools says, “Please do not come to the school at this time, as the Lynchburg Police Department (LPD) will not allow anyone on campus until the lockdown is lifted. We want to assure families that our students are safe and that the search of the building is being done out of an abundance of caution. LPD has notified us that no threat has been confirmed at this point. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. Our ECG staff is working with LPD to check and clear the building.”
Lynchburg Police received a call Monday from someone with an out-of-state number, claiming there was a machine gun inside EC Glass. As a precaution, LPD placed ECG on lockdown while they searched each room in the school. As police were investigating, they determined the safest course of action was to dismiss some students to their fire drill location while they checked and cleared the building. Once those concerns were resolved, the school system says, students were sent back inside.
“No students will be allowed to leave the building until LPD has approved for us to do so,” according to spokesman Walt Ford. “As soon as the lockdown is lifted we will notify parents immediately. We will still provide bus transportation for any student who needs it once we receive the all-clear. Once again, please do not attempt to go to ECG until notified to do so, LPD will not allow you on school grounds. Your cooperation will help us resolve this situation much more quickly.”
Phone calls like this were received by other schools throughout Virginia Monday. Many other schools around the United States have also reported similar situations over the last few weeks.
The FBI’s Richmond branch responded to the situations with the following comment:
“FBI Richmond is aware of a number of swatting incidents occurring within the Commonwealth, wherein reports of an active shooter at several schools have been made. The FBI takes swatting very seriously and will work with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to collect, share and act upon threat information as soon as it’s brought to our attention and until such time the threat is deemed credible or not. Hoax threats cause undue stress for students, teachers, parents, and other community members - and can be prosecuted as a crime. We urge our community to remain vigilant, and report any and all suspicious activity and/or individuals to law enforcement immediately.”
State Police released the following statement regarding multiple threats placed to school campuses Monday:
“Virginia State Police personnel have responded to assist numerous local police and sheriff’s offices with reports of active shooters on school campuses today. None of the threats were deemed valid and the state police, through collaboration with the Virginia Fusion Center, is now working with those same local law enforcement agencies to investigate the source of the threats and to determine if there is any evidence to connect them. Anyone with information related to the threats is encouraged to call 911 or #77 to reach state police or email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
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