WASHINGTON — Fairfax County police detectives said two teenage boys from the Alexandria area were trying to impress a girl when they made threats against Walt Whitman Middle School on social media.
The boys, 14 and 15, are not being named due to their age.
They made the threats against the school on Parkers Lane in Alexandria earlier in February. Officers learned of the threat on Feb. 17; after an investigation, the teenagers turned themselves in.
The boys were charged with one count each of threats to commit serious bodily harm to persons on school property, and were sent home with their parents after a detention hearing. They remain under electronic monitoring.
Detectives said the boys did not have the ability to carry out their threat.
Fairfax County police Chief Edwin Roessler said there have been 24 threats against county schools in just the two weeks since the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In addition, he said the two most recent charges are just the latest — there have been seven arrests stemming from 52 threats against schools since August of 2017.
All threats against schools are taken seriously, and the chief advised parents to tell their children that school shootings are not something to joke about. The police note that those under 18 can still be charged with felonies, and the county will ask to be paid back for the cost of the investigations.