UPDATE: The Roanoke Police Department says it has taken a 14-year-old girl into custody on a petition for Threat by Writing or Electronic Message to Kill or do harm for the threats made on William Fleming High School staff and students. She could face a class six felony.

A release says the girl is being transported to the Roanoke Valley Juvenile Center.

The Roanoke Police Department issued a warning to students.

“Reminder to our Roanoke City Public Schools students — your words have consequences. Things you say or text can hurt and scare others, and there can be serious repercussions. These are not funny jokes. If your words are alarming enough to rise to the attention of law enforcement, you could face misdemeanor and/or felony charges. These are consequences that will follow you for the rest of your life. Please remember to take a step back and think before you say something or send a message you might regret.”

Roanoke Police Department



ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — On Wednesday two Roanoke City Public Schools were put on lockdown due to potential threats.

School officials say it started in the morning with William Fleming High School when administrators found out about a threat on social media. They began working with the Roanoke Police Department and placed the school on lockdown about 10:30 a.m.. The school was kept on a lockdown until an early dismissal at shortly after noon.

In a statement RCPS said: “Roanoke City Public Schools recognized this was a stressful event for students, staff, and families.”

William Fleming High School was searched by police and school administrators and deemed to be all clear.

Following the incident at William Fleming High School, school officials say Patrick Henry High School received a call reporting a potential threat. That high school was then placed on a lockdown at approximately 1:30 p.m..

That school was also searched by police and administrators. The school system says the Roanoke Police and federal law enforcement believe the call was a hoax. The lockdown was lifted at 2:40 p.m. and the school dismissed as normal.

Authorities say the hoax call is part of a national trend called “swatting” and they are investigating. School officials say they are cooperating fully with the investigations.

“We sat in a closet for an hour in the dark, we didn’t get checked but we just kept hearing a bunch of different things, we didn’t know what to think,” said PHHS student Tommi Hairston as she left the school. “School feels a bit unsafe now.”

Another student, Dasia Chambers, said she was anxious over the repeated threats made at district schools and Wednesday’s incident only made her more stressed.

“We didn’t know if it was a drill or what, and people started getting robo-calls and whatnot, and just seeing the other students start crying, it was really hard,” she said.


“The safety and security of our students and staff is always our top priority. Roanoke City Public Schools does not tolerate threats or acts of violence. We ask families to please continue to remind their student of the importance of saying something if they see something.”

— Statement from Roanoke City Public Schools

Roanoke City Public Schools says counselors are available if students need support or have questions about the lockdowns.

School officials are also urging parents to check in with their students tonight and if anyone needs immediate assistance they can call Carilion CONNECT at 540-981-8181.

The schools say they would like to thank all law enforcement agencies that assisted them today as well as students, staff and families for understanding and following all safety protocols.