Threat involving Lunenburg schools led to Monday closure

Published 2:14 pm Monday, September 12, 2022

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VICTORIA – On Sunday, Sept. 11, the Lunenburg County Public Schools (LCPS) staff received information regarding a threat against the district. That led to everything from classes to the school board meeting being canceled in the district today. 

“Law enforcement requested that we not share details of the threat because it would compromise the investigation,” LCPS officials said in a statement. “This was a joint decision with the Lunenburg Sheriff’s Department and the school system. At the time, there was concern that too much information might cause difficulty in apprehending the suspect(s).” 

School district officials added that they wanted to be transparent, but first focused on making sure the threat was addressed. 

“Please understand that while we want to be transparent and communicate with families as quickly as possible, addressing the threat and finding the person(s) responsible was our primary goal,” the district’s most recent statement said. “We appreciate the patience of our parents and employees while we have addressed the situation. The investigation is continuing, and the Sheriff’s Department hopes to have a resolution soon.” 

More details from the Sheriff’s Office

The Lunenburg County Sheriff’s Office provided more details on Monday afternoon. In a statement, staff said they received the threat by way of the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page. Lunenburg County Sheriff Arthur Townsend then reached out to School District Superintendent Charles Berkley. Wanting to err on the side of caution, that’s when Berkley decided to close all schools and school board offices.

The sheriff then contacted the High Tech Crime Division of the Virginia State Police. Their goal is to investigate the information and locate the source, which they continue to do.

Where do we go from here? 

As for what happens next, the goal is for things to get back to normal Tuesday, with some added support.

The Lunenburg County Sheriff’s Office will continue to monitor the situation, office staff said in a statement. They added that deputies and school resource officers will continue to patrol each school for the safety of the community.
“We ask for the public’s patience,” the sheriff’s office staff said in a statement. “If anyone has information regarding this incident, please contact Crime Stoppers at 434-696-3100 or call the Lunenburg County Sheriff’s Office at 434-696-4452.”

Meanwhile, it’s back to class for students and teachers. 

“LCPS will operate as normal tomorrow with an increased law enforcement presence,” the district’s statement said. “LCPS exercises great caution for the safety of our students, faculty and staff.” 

Things will also be back to normal for students attending the Governor’s School of Southside Virginia. After Lunenburg schools shut down Sunday night, the Governor’s School had requested that students from the area stay home today.  

Those students will also be welcomed back to class on Tuesday.

Here’s the original story from Sunday.