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BCPS Cautions Against School Threat Rumors

Three county schools were investigated for potential threats Thursday.

Given two recent Baltimore County Public Schools gun incidents, school system officials aren't surprised the community is on edge. But they urge caution against taking stock in unsubstantiated rumors.

"People need to be aware that we're aware of what's going on out there," said Charles Herndon, a school system spokesman. "We're living in the information age, so there's a lot of information out there but that doesn't mean all of it's accurate."

As first reported by , Lansdowne Middle School was evacuated for about 15 to 20 minutes Thursday morning following a bomb threat. Police investigated the threat after Lansdowne school staff notified the school's system main office.

"We will take every threat seriously," Herndon said.

Additionally, rumors about a gun at Dundalk and Kenwood high schools circulated through social media Thursday. Since the gun incidents, county officials have asked the public to report any comments on social media that hint at violence in schools. Herndon said investigation revealed no truth to these claims, and students were not evacuated. 

"A lot of time people see Facebook posts in the nature of 'I heard from a friend that has a brother at Catonsville High,' and it spreads" he said, referring to initial false reports that stated a in Catonsville happened at the high school.

The school year got off to a somber start for the Baltimore County Public Schools community after a special needs student was seriously injured in a late-August  . Two weeks later, a 13-year-old eighth grade student with a gun at Stemmers Run Middle School on Tuesday.

"We understand that after such incidents people will be particularly vigilant," Herndon said.

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Jimmy September 14, 2012 at 03:47 PM
"People need to be aware that we're aware of what's going on out there," said Charles Herndon, a school system spokesman. "We're living in the information age, so there's a lot of information out there but that doesn't mean all of it's accurate." I really believe the school administrators know what is going on! (Sarcasm) Really?!? At the parent meeting at PHHS, a parent got up and said she called the school earlier that morning to report Gladden's facebook post. Why was that report not investigated? It took me less than 5 minutes to find his facebook page that night and that was before I knew his name. If I could find it, why couldn't someone that knows computers do it? I saw the post. It was still there a week after the shooting. His page is secure now. That post coupled with what the school system already knew about Gladden was more than enough to have him detained and searched the second he walked into the school that day.
Al Day September 14, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Jimmy, let's face it, the schools have become places where political correctness runs rampant and learning takes a back seat to that. First off let me say I've been a long time advocate of breaking the large mega-schools we now use into smaller units with more knowledge of each student by the teachers and administrators. And that doesn't mean going back to a one room school house system. The larger campus is not for elementary, middle or high school level students. It may work at the college level (even though there is debate about that). The areas of the school need to be broken into smaller areas (with brick/block walls where necessary) to isolate one area from another with a known number of students per area. Teachers and administration would then work within that section and that section alone and with the smaller number of students. By doing this the element of community would be re-instituted within the schools and each student would have a name and familiarity with the staff and thereby allow use of peer review and accountability in a known and manageable quantity. There does not need to be so many students (and staff) in one large campus so that individual needs and accountability goes out the window. The move towards larger schools to save money is a fools game. Look at the consequences. The smaller colleges always have a greater sense of community than the larger ones.
Al Day September 14, 2012 at 06:25 PM
I want to say no more than 200 students per unit would be a good starting point. Something needs to be done and no one else is making any suggestions. We cannot continue to see our youngsters subjected to the behaviors that have become all too well known in recent years.
Al Day September 14, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Same with lower level grades in public schools. We need individual care more than ever in public education. It's obvious the need is greater and the only way to get there is to break up the large campuses.
lupita alcantar December 21, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Peopel need to stop killing each other or cumiting suicide its not the rite thing to do and if somethings not real and just pay no mind to it and if you over here someone talking about killing solmeone or cumiting suicide let an adult as soon as posible you could be saving other peoples lifes

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