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JUST IN: Police presence at middle school Friday after shooting threat and airsoft gun found

Kenmore Middle School (photo via APS)

There will be a police presence at Kenmore Middle School on Friday after two separate incidents yesterday.

The school told parents Wednesday afternoon that threatening graffiti with the statement that “I’m gonna shot this school on Friday 11/5/21” was discovered in the 8th grade boys’ bathroom earlier that morning.

“While we do not believe this to be a credible threat, the investigation is ongoing,” the school’s principal wrote.

Additionally, last night parents were informed of a separate incident that day, in which a student showed another student an airsoft gun in a school bathroom.

“The Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) was immediately made aware, made contact with the student and took possession of the antique ‘airsoft gun’ and appropriate disciplinary action is being taken,” wrote principal David McBride.

“There is no change to our schedule for Fri, Nov. 5, as a result of the threat; however, as a precaution, there will be a police presence at the school on Friday,” McBride wrote.

Arlington Public Schools students have the day off today for Diwali as part of a three-day week that also saw Tuesday off for Election Day.

Friday’s police presence at Kenmore, located at 200 S. Carlin Springs Road, comes as APS charts a path forward for its relationship with the police department, after voting to remove School Resource Officers from school grounds earlier this year.

The full emails from the Kenmore principal are below.

The following was sent around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Dear Cougar Community,

This morning, the school became aware of an anonymous threat of violence after a student discovered graffiti in the 8th grade boys’ bathroom stating: “I’m gonna shot this school on Friday 11/5/21.” 

The Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) was immediately made aware of the threat, and they are investigating the situation. Any students who have knowledge of this are asked to contact the school.

While we do not believe this to be a credible threat, the investigation is ongoing. Students are reminded that making threats, regardless of credibility, is unacceptable and in violation of the Code of Conduct and will result in disciplinary action by the school as well as a referral to ACPD.

We appreciate the student who brought this to our attention this morning and ask all members of our community to report any threats they may see or hear, whether they believe they are credible or not.  We also need to remind everyone that spreading rumors among classmates or on social media that have not been verified can create unnecessary stress for students.

Please be assured that we always take threats of this sort very seriously. We will continue to investigate and will work with the ACPD as well. Please note that there is no change to our schedule for Fri, Nov. 5, as a result of the threat; however, as a precaution, there will be a police presence at the school on Friday. We will keep you updated if we receive new information.

The safety of our students and staff is our top priority and I want to thank the Kenmore community for your support and responsiveness, and if you hear or see something that concerns you, please let me or a member of our Kenmore staff know immediately.

Thank you for working together to make our school safe. Thanks again to the student leader who let school staff know about the disturbing message this morning. If you have any questions, please feel free to call the office at 703-228-6800.

Sincerely,

David McBride
Principal

The following email was sent around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Dear Cougar Community,

I am writing this afternoon to inform you of another incident unrelated to the threat found in the bathroom earlier today. This afternoon, a student reported to staff that another student showed them an antique “airsoft gun” while in the bathroom. I want to reiterate that this incident is unrelated to this morning’s incident.

The Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) was immediately made aware, made contact with the student and took possession of the antique “airsoft gun” and appropriate disciplinary action is being taken.

Students are reminded that this sort of behavior is unacceptable and in violation of the Code of Conduct and will result in disciplinary action by the school as well as a referral to ACPD. Again, please be assured that we always take these incidents seriously. The safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Thank you for your support and responsiveness. Please remind your students that if they hear or see something that concerns them, they should let me, or a member of our Kenmore staff know immediately.

Thank you for working together to make our school safe. If you have any questions, please feel free to call the office at 703-228-6800.

Sincerely,

David McBride
Principal

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