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JUST IN: Middle school dance cancelled due to threat of violence

Gunston Middle School (file photo)

Gunston Middle School’s eighth grade dance, planned for tonight, has been cancelled due to threats.

In a message to families sent around 12:30 p.m. today, Gunston Principal Dr. Lori Wiggins said that the decision was made as a result of “possible messages circulating in the community referencing individuals interrupting and potentially causing violence” at the dance.

That comes after a two-week stretch that has seen a spate of mass shootings nationwide, including the shooting at a Texas elementary school that killed 19 students and 2 teachers.

The email to families is below.

Greetings Gunston Eighth-Grade Families:

The Arlington County Police Department received information regarding possible messages circulating in the community referencing individuals interrupting and potentially causing violence at tonight’s eighth-grade dance. Based on the information available to us at this time, the decision was made to cancel tonight’s dance out of an abundance of caution. I write this with a heavy heart, as I know that our students were looking forward to this event. While this is a difficult decision, the safety of our students and staff is my top priority.

At this time, the threat is isolated to the dance. APS continues to work with the ACPD to address the information pertaining to this threat and will put additional resources in place as needed. We will share more specifics with students on Monday about refunds for tickets purchased to the dance. I created a video message for students about the decision to cancel that was shared during TA. I know that students will be upset with this decision, but again, it was made out of an abundance of caution. I am upset with the situation. But your child’s safety is the priority.

I want to thank the individuals that shared this information. Please remind and stress the importance to your children that if they hear or see something to talk to a trusted adult.

Sincerely,

Dr. Wiggins

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