Franklin County authorities investigate after student accused of claiming to have weapon on school bus; threat deemed unfounded

Roanoke Valley News


FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Franklin County authorities and school officials urge parents to speak with their children about the seriousness of making threats after a middle school student reportedly told another student they brought a weapon onto the school bus Friday morning, even though no weapon was found.

According to a statement posted by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, Jan. 14, word came in that morning from the Franklin County Public Schools administration about a possible threat on a school bus.

Authorities say a student alerted the bus driver that another student had a weapon in their backpack. However, after an immediate investigation, no weapon was found and the threat was declared unfounded.

The sheriff’s office commends the bus driver for responding quickly and the students for bringing information forward.

“We will always take any concern to the safety of our schools and students seriously and investigate accordingly,” the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office wrote.

Officials also shared the following statement from Franklin County Public Schools about the incident.

Dear Families,

I am writing to update you on a situation that occurred on one of our school buses this morning. A middle school student indicated to another student on the bus that there was a weapon in their backpack. The driver immediately notified the transportation department who notified local law enforcement. Law Enforcement and school officials met the bus. There was no weapon found in the student’s backpack or on the bus. We do not have reason to believe there is any threat to school safety at this time. Still, the incident cause a great deal of concerns for some of our students, staff, and families. We commend our driver and our students for speaking up and doing the right thing. We encourage our families to also speak with their children about the importance of making good decisions and the serious nature of making threats, even if they are meant as a joke. We wanted to let you know about this situation as soon as possible.

Dr. Bernice Cobbs

Statement shared by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 14, 2022 on behalf of Franklin County Public Schools

According to the sheriff’s office, the investigation into the circumstances behind Friday morning’s incident is still ongoing.

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