Suffolk Police investigating threats to schools

Published 1:51 pm Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Suffolk Police are investigating social media threats made to three schools in the city.

Over a roughly 24-hour time period, there have been threats made toward Lakeland and Nansemond River high schools and King’s Fork Middle School.

Each school’s principal has sent out letters to parents, acknowledging the threats and pledging to do everything they can to keep students and staff members safe.

Anthonette Ward, community engagement officer for Suffolk Public Schools, confirmed that it became aware of the threats to two of the schools — Lakeland High and King’s Fork Middle — on the afternoon of Sept. 21.
Nansemond River Principal Shawn Green acknowledged the threat there in a Sept. 22 letter to parents.

“The school district is working closely with the Suffolk Police Department, and this will be considered an ongoing investigation,” Green wrote. “We take all potential threats seriously to ensure that we provide a safe environment for our students and staff.”

Lakeland Principal Doug Wagoner told parents about the threat, saying “additional security measures will be taken at Lakeland High School for the foreseeable future.”

The recent threats come in the wake of a Sept. 20 shooting at Heritage High School in Newport News that injured two students.

Police in other Hampton Roads cities — Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Norfolk and Virginia Beach — are investigating multiple threats made on social media.

A Hampton man was arrested Sept. 21 for making threats to Phoebus High School.

“The Suffolk Police Department is currently investigating threatening social media posts naming Lakeland High School and King’s Fork Middle School,” said city spokeswoman Diana Klink, “and is working in conjunction with neighboring jurisdictions who have also experienced similar recent threats. These investigations remain ongoing at this time, and there is no further information to provide.”