NRHS takes precautions

Published 10:08 pm Thursday, February 15, 2018

Nansemond River High School took extra precautions on Thursday because of a social media post by a Nansemond River High School student.

A staff member was informed Wednesday night of the post, which was communicated to the Nansemond River administrative team and then to law enforcement, according to a letter from Principal Daniel O’Leary Jr. that was posted on the school’s Facebook page.

“Suffolk law enforcement became involved,” O’Leary wrote. “The student in question was identified and immediate action was taken last night. At no time, once the information was received, was the student in question present on school campus. Extra resource officers were in attendance today as a proactive and visual reminder that safety is always our top priority at Nansemond River High School.”

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Suffolk Public Schools officials declined on Thursday to reveal why the post was so concerning.

The post was reported on the same day as a horrifying school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. A former student at that school reportedly opened fire on students and teachers, killing 17. O’Leary referenced the shooting in his letter.

“With the events in Florida and across the nation, it is imperative that all school stakeholders be vigilant,” O’Leary wrote. “We strongly urge all students, staff and parents to communicate information with school officials and local law enforcement. Parents are encouraged to monitor their child’s social media posts and behavior closely. We trust that our amazing faculty, staff, student body and community will continue to report anything that helps ensure our school remains a great place to learn and work.”

School division spokeswoman Bethanne Bradshaw said the information in the letter is all the division is able to release. She declined to answer additional questions, such as what the content of the social media post was, where it was posted, how old the student is and whether the student is male or female.

“The student will be disciplined in accordance with policy,” Bradshaw added in an email.

In response to an earlier question about whether extra precautions were taken at Suffolk schools Thursday in light of the Florida shooting, Bradshaw stated, “Student and staff safety is of course a priority. Suffolk Public Schools in partnership with the Suffolk Police Department will continue our daily safety precautions, review our security and emergency procedures and respond appropriately to ensure our schools are safe.”

Thursday was the second time in a little more than two weeks that a social media post led Nansemond River High administrators to take additional steps for security. On Jan. 31, the school had metal detector checkpoints and extra law enforcement presence after receiving “general information” through a social media site.

That happened the same week that a student brought a gun to King’s Fork High School. He was caught and charged.