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Albemarle County police lock down AHS and MHS following online threat

After receiving information about an unspecified social media threat, Albemarle County police department placed Albemarle High School and then Monticello High School under a modified lockdown for several hours Wednesday afternoon.

After-school activities at both schools were canceled out of an abundance of caution. The modified lockdown meant that students could leave early if their family members picked them up. The exterior doors were locked and the front entrance was blocked, a school division spokeswoman said. Albemarle police officers were on site at both schools.

A spokeswoman for the police department said she didn’t have more information to share and that there’s an active investigation underway.

“These incidents are disruptive to our learning environment and disrespectful to all of the students, families and staff who are our school community,” AHS principal Darah Bonham wrote in a message to families Wednesday evening. “We will do everything possible to ensure that those who are responsible are identified and face what can be very serious consequences. Our Anonymous Alerts system, accessible on our home page, can be used to securely and confidentially share any information that could be helpful to this investigation.”

Bonham said school operations will be conducted as scheduled Thursday and that additional school safety coaches will be on site to assist with supervision and support.

“This evening, police officers, as they do every evening, will be patrolling all county schools,” he wrote. “Our custodial staff will be on site through the night, ensuring that our school is ready for student learning tomorrow. As always, our alarm system will be fully operational until school opens tomorrow morning.”

Monticello principal Rick Vrhovac wrote a similar message to families.

“We are very fortunate to have such an amazing team at Monticello,” he wrote. “Their contributions today aided in protecting our students and staff with the assistance of the various protective measures we have in place and the continuing collaboration that allows us to fulfill our educational mission and keep everyone safe.”

This is the second social media threat that was made public involving Albemarle High School in the last month. The police department’s initial investigation into that threat determined that it was not credible. AHS was not placed into lockdown at the time while authorities investigated.


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