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Patrick Henry Elementary reports receiving a threat on social media

This is a statement released by the Martinsville City Schools Friday afternoon.

On Friday, March 11, 2022, the Martinsville Police Department and Superintendent Dr. Zeb
Talley were notified by Virginia Fusion Center of an intercepted social media threat pertaining to Patrick Henry Elementary School.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) also contacted Patrick Henry Elementary School as they also intercepted the social media threat.

Local authorities were present at Patrick Henry to investigate the possible threat that was intercepted via social media. Extra law enforcements were called in and are remaining onsite throughout the school day, continuing to investigate and patrol the grounds.

The decision was made to continue school day with extra law enforcement actively present. All outdoors activities have been canceled to ensure the safety of our students and staff.

The preliminary investigation presumes that it is a “bot” threat, however, the events that have taken place are still actively under investigation.

School and law enforcement leaders from across Martinsville continue to work together in our shared responsibility to keep all children, students, educators, and the community safe.

In the wake of the other threats nationwide, we want to assure you that we take this responsibility very seriously. Therefore, our organizations are in frequent communication and have long-standing partnerships with local and state police departments, Virginia Fusion Centers, and ATF.

There has been an increase in threats directed at schools across the state. Because we take every threat seriously, we are asking for your help to educate your children and the broader community about the seriousness of making threats. Making threats is a crime and schools, law enforcement, and the Martinsville City Commonwealth Attorney’s Office will work together to hold individuals who make threats to schools responsible for their actions.

The best way to keep our community safe is by reporting threats as soon as they are made. If you see something, say something. Please report all threats immediately to law enforcement and school officials. We encourage individuals to use the Martinsville Police Department tip line at 276-638-8751.

Our children deserve a learning environment free from worry about senseless acts of violence. With your help, we can work together to keep our communities and schools safe.

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