Exactly one month after the last one, a swatter perpetrated another hoax that provoked a terror-laden lockdown at Buford Middle School Thursday afternoon.
The latest incident was a report of a possible active shooter on Cherry Avenue campus and came to the attention of Charlottesville Police around 12:40 p.m. While the lockdown lasted only half an hour, according to scanner chatter, the anxiety might continue.
"This false report caused extreme stress and disruption at Buford and in our community," according to a city release, which reminds the public that swatting– the act of calling in false reports of violence– is a crime. In addition to the fears it may impose on children, swatting has been associated with several deaths in recent years, as armed officers converge on a scene with bogus information.
Buford was swatted on September 20, in a lock-down incident that may not have garnered as much press coverage as it otherwise would have because it followed a similar, day-earlier lock-down at Charlottesville High School.
Charlottesville officials say that counselors and other mental health professionals are at the school to speak with Buford students and staff.
"We encourage families to check in with their students," concludes the city release.