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Student Threatens School Staff

A 17-year-old high student allegedly threatened on an Internet website to kill Broad Run High School staff, as reported by the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office.

"He did mention specific personnel. I can't get into specific details of who they were and how the threat was made," said Kraig Troxell, public information officer for the Sheriff's Office.

The threat was discovered on Nov. 4 and brought to the attention of school staff and a Sheriff's Office school resource officer that afternoon. Sheriff's Office investigators, with the help of school officials, conducted an investigation, researching Internet providers to identify ownership of the website and the source of the threat. The same evening, the investigators traced the threats to the student and conducted a search warrant at his residence in CountrySide, where he remains in custody of his parents.

"We were confident we had the right person and had thwarted any possible threat," Troxell said. "We were working on a timeline. We were going to make sure the public was alerted if this threat was not neutralized in a timely manner."

THE THREAT case is being reviewed by the Commonwealth's Attorney and remains under investigation with charges pending. The superintendent of schools also is reviewing the case for disciplinary proceedings.

"We were on it immediately," said Wayde Byard, school press officer. "We did a sweep of the school to make sure nothing was out of order there."

The last time a similar type of threat occurred was three years ago, Byard said. "Anything like this we take exceptionally seriously," he said.

In 1993, the public schools implemented a school security plan, taking security more seriously at that point and following the Columbine shootings, Byard said. "If a student is feeling this way and needs help, we need to get them help, too. It has to be taken seriously because it might escalate into actual action where someone is injured, and we can't have that. We are not going to be lax in this," he said. "There obviously will be disciplinary action taken."