A message from Dr. Spence

A message from Dr. Spence
Posted on 11/02/2018
Dear Families -

Two weeks ago, reports surfaced of a threat written in a bathroom stall at one of our high schools. Since that time, we have, sadly, seen an increase in various threats across the division, more bathroom stalls, texts and even verbal threats.

Virginia Beach City Public Schools takes all threats very seriously, even those where there is no evidence to substantiate the threat. We have extensive protocols in place for when these arise. As such, in multiple cases, students were quickly apprehended and now face potential criminal charges as well as discipline at the school.

In short, threats of any kind are not acceptable, and students will be held responsible for their actions. We are grateful for our strong partnership with the Virginia Beach Police Department and the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office for the City of Virginia Beach to ensure that those responsible are held to the full letter of the law.

Parents, there are severe consequences to these actions and we need your help reinforcing this message to your children. We want to keep our focus on the teaching and learning in the classroom. To do that, we need you to reiterate to your children it's important they use their best judgment. We also want to remind you that your student's attendance in school is extremely important, and assure you that our schools are open because we are confident of their safety.

If you need help talking with your student, please refer to the video link below. While this video focuses specifically on social media threats, this message from the police chief, commonwealth's attorney for the city of Virginia Beach and myself is an important reminder of what's at stake when students make irresponsible decisions. It also encourages them to be thoughtful and practice good citizenship online, in school and at home. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2_yKXozzl4.

Thank you,
Dr. Aaron Spence