NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- In the wake of last week's deadly school shooting in Florida, many school districts are reporting an increase in threats made on social media, and schools in Hampton Roads and northeastern North Carolina are no exception.
In every instance, police and school officials have said each threat is being taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.
In Norfolk, detectives arrested a 14-year-old student who is accused of threatening to shoot classmates.
The threat said students at Lake Taylor Middle School would be shot if they came to school on Tuesday. The student whom officers arrested is in the 7th Grade at the school.
The principals at Lake Taylor Middle and nearby Lake Taylor High School called parents to assure them the school division and the Norfolk Police Department were looking into the matter.
The school division issued a statement:
Norfolk Public Schools is aware of a disturbing social media post circulating about Lake Taylor Middle School. We take any threat such as this seriously and are working closely with Norfolk PD as this matter is investigated.Parents are encouraged to speak to their children about the very serious nature of making threats as students found to have done this will be subject to appropriate disciplinary and legal actions.
Police said that the 14-year-old is facing a Class 6 Felony "for making threats of death or bodily injury to a person or persons on school property," which anyone found posting threats on social media can face. A person found guilty could get up to 12 months in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.
In Hampton, police are investigating threats made at Bethel High School and Kecoughtan High School.
Police said that following an investigation, the threat at both schools were determined to not be credible.
School activities will continue as normal at Bethel and Kecoughtan, but there will be an increased police presence as a precaution.
In a news release, Hampton Police said, "With the speed of social media, rumors and inaccurate information can spread very quickly. While social media can also be very helpful at times, this appears to be two incidents where it was not. We encourage all parents to talk with their children regarding the proper utilization of social media as well monitoring their children’s social media usage for accountability purposes."
Hampton City Schools has a Safe School Hotline, designed to receive calls 24 hours a day from students, parents, or concerned citizens who have information about potentially dangerous activity on school grounds or school-related activities.
The Safe School Hotline is 757-727-2255.
In Chesapeake, police confirmed they've received reports of a social media threat directed at Western Branch High School for Tuesday. A spokesperson for Chesapeake PD said there is "no credible threat at this time," but police and the school district is continuing to investigate.
There will be an extra police presence on-hand to ensure student and staff safety.
Nansemond River High School and Lakeland High School in Suffolk received threats. Both sent letters to families Monday talking about the threats.
In Southampton County, the Sheriff's Office said it was investigating a threat made Sunday night. A screenshot sent from a 13News Now viewer indicated the targeted school was Southampton High School.
Deputies are working with school officials to establish the credibility and source of the threat.
In North Carolina over the weekend, police were also investigating a threat made toward Northeastern High School in Elizabeth City.
Detectives say the student who made the threat has been identified and determined to be unable to carry out the threat. Charges against the student may be filed.
On Monday, Gates County Public Schools said they were alerted to a threat made on social media. The Gates County Sheriff's Office is investigating.
All five public schools in the district were placed on lockdown from about 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Monday, but schools have since resumed normal operations. There will still be an increased police presence on school campuses until the end of the day, however.