The following message was sent to all city schools staff and families on the afternoon of March 22:
Update: Charlottesville City Schools Message to Families and Staff, March 22, 2019
Dear staff and families,
Earlier today, the Charlottesville Police arrested and charged a teenager in connection to the threat made against CHS. The suspect does NOT attend Charlottesville City Schools or live in Charlottesville. He has been charged as a juvenile with making threats to persons on school property, which is a felony, and with harassment by computer.
We appreciate the support we have received from the CPD along with state and federal agencies, who took immediate and strong action to protect our schools as soon as they learned of this posting. We also appreciate our parents and community members for being so understanding and supportive of our students, staff, and our decision to close schools. We also want to thank our principals, teachers, staff members, and parents who spent today greeting students and families, and we thank the community centers who hosted us and fed our children.
Again, I want to state in the strongest possible language that our schools will not tolerate threats or hate. For reasons such as this, last fall, our School Board passed a resolution banning clothing or items with symbols of hate as one way to make our schools safe and supportive.
I find it particularly troubling that a person who is not part of our Charlottesville City Schools community would make such a hurtful and divisive threat under the guise of being a CHS student. Since August 2017, we have made concerted efforts to have difficult conversations around race and to build trust and relationships. This comment attempted to undermine our community.
We will NOT let this divide us, either as a school or as a city or even as a region. We know that this person does not represent CHS or Charlottesville or his own county. As one way to show our solidarity, let us follow the lead of CHS teacher Pam Brown, who invites everyone to wear black or orange on Monday as a way of showing solidarity with our CHS Black Knights.
Go, Black Knights!
Dr. Rosa Atkins
On Friday, March 22, teachers and staff from each of our nine city schools spent the afternoon visiting students in our community. Staff, PTO volunteers, community partners, and others came together to be sure our students know that we have missed them the past two days, and that we love them. See the highlights here.
The following message was sent to all city schools staff and families earlier this evening:
Update: Charlottesville City Schools Message to Families and Staff, March 21, 2019
Thank you for understanding our decision to close today. We heard clearly that you, too, want us to prioritize the safety of our students and staff.
The police and other state and federal authorities have told us that this remains an active investigation. We will keep you posted of developments as we learn more. Based on extensive conversations with law enforcement, we have decided to remain closed on Friday, 3/22. Police have asked anyone with information to contact 434-970-3280.
We would like to acknowledge and condemn the fact that this threat was racially charged. We do not tolerate hate or racism. The entire staff and School Board stand in solidarity with our students of color — and with people who have been singled out for reasons such as religion or ethnicity or sexual identity in other vile threats made across the country or around the world. We are in this together, and a threat against one is a threat against all.
We know that many of you have questions about how to talk to your students about why schools are closed. We suggest a brief acknowledgment of the situation. (For instance, for young students, you might say, “Someone said they wanted to hurt some students, and the people who run the schools decided that it would be safer for for students to stay home.”) Then follow your child’s lead as they ask questions or show emotions. We have links to additional resources, below.
Have a good evening. We will give you any further updates as we learn them, but in the meanwhile, we appreciate your patience as we continue to place safety first.
- Overview of Safety Services at Charlottesville City Schools
- Helping Children Feel Safe During Uncertain Times: A Caregiver’s Guide (from school counselors at Charlottesville City Schools)
- Talking to Children about Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers (from the National Association of School Psychologists)
- How to Talk to Your Children about Race: Books and Resources that Can Help (this is one of the items on the Resources page our staff compiled in the wake of August 12, 2017.
Update: Charlottesville City Schools Message to Families and Staff, March 20, 9:37 p.m.
The Charlottesville Police Department and other authorities continue to investigate the internet threat against Charlottesville High School. They have not yet determined the credibility of the threat. Consequently, we will close all Charlottesville City Schools tomorrow, Thursday, March 21. Again, the safety of our staff and students is our first priority. Have a good night, and we’ll update you tomorrow as we learn more.
Charlottesville City Schools Message to Families and Staff, March 20, 6:38 p.m.
We wanted to make you aware of a situation that we are monitoring closely this evening. Earlier this evening, we were notified by the Charlottesvillle Police Department of an internet threat concerning Charlottesville High School for tomorrow. The CPD and other authorities are investigating this situation, and we will give you an update later tonight. CPD has cleared us to have evening activities tonight, but to allay any concerns, we will have a police presence on hand. Please know that we are working closely with CPD, and the safety of students and staff is our top priority.
City of Charlottesville Police Department Media Release, March 20, 6:35 p.m.
In the afternoon hours of Wednesday, March 20, 2019, the Charlottesville Police Department received an email from a concerned citizen regarding a possible threat that was made against Charlottesville High School.
Detectives are working with Dr. Rosa Atkins, the superintendent of Charlottesville City Schools, the Virginia State Police, and FBI to investigate the credibility of the threat.
Anyone with information about this threat is asked to contact the Charlottesville Police Department at (434) 970-3280 or CrimeStoppers at (434) 977-4000.