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Police Investigating Threat at Yorktown High School

Update at 1 p.m. — Arlington County Police have issued a statement about the investigation via Twitter.

Earlier: A threat scrawled on a bathroom wall has Yorktown High School on high alert.

In a letter to parents, Yorktown Principal Bridget Loft said that police are investigating and “community members may see a heightened police presence at Yorktown through the week,” but school is not being cancelled.

There has been a spike in school threats in the wake of the Parkland, Florida high school shooting, including in the D.C. area. One parent said that students are in “a froth of anxiety” following the shooting.

“Some have expressed concerns about threats during a walkout protest as well, because they feel less secure outside the building,” said the parent.

An Arlington Public Schools spokesman says the threat at Yorktown is being taken seriously.

“We take threats very seriously and will continue to work with ACPD if any are made,” said Frank Bellavia. “We are asking our school community that if the hear or see something to say something to and adult or the police.”

“At this time, we are not aware of any other threats made to schools,” he added.

The full letter from Loft about the Yorktown threat is below.

Dear Yorktown Families:

Earlier today, Yorktown staff was made aware of a threat that was posted on a restroom wall indicating possible harm to the school later this week. The Arlington County Police Department was immediately made aware of the threat, and they are investigating the situation. For this reason, parents and community members may see a heightened police presence at Yorktown through the week.

We know that any rumor about a potential for violence is always alarming for our community, especially in light of the recent events in Florida. However, due to the recent events here at Yorktown, we know that emotions for our students, families, and staff have been especially heightened.

For these reasons, we wanted to share that we also learned that some students may have taken photos of what was posted and then shared those images out on social media. While we want our students always to report any threats they may see or hear about, we need to remind everyone that spreading rumors among classmates or on social media that have not been verified can create unnecessary panic and stress.

Please be assured that we always take threats of this sort very seriously. Any and all concerns about possible threats should be reported to an adult, but they should not be shared among students until we can investigate, since sharing unfounded threats will only increase anxiety for everyone.

We will continue to investigate this report and will work with the ACPD as well. If we hear more information about this threat, we will share it with you as soon as possible.

I also want to thank the Yorktown community for your support and responsiveness, and if you hear or see something that concerns you, please let me or a member of our Yorktown staff know immediately.

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