Laurel police break up ‘credible threat’ at high school

UPDATE: Wednesday – 12/19/2012, 4:44pm ET

WASHINGTON – The Prince George’s County School Interim Superintendent, Alvin L. Crawley, released a statement Wednesday afternoon regarding Laurel High School:

I extend my thanks for your patience while the investigation of a potential threat at Laurel High School was underway yesterday. The safety of students and staff is of our utmost concern, and we are extremely thankful that Laurel High School students shared their concerns with the proper authorities so that we could work quickly with the Laurel City Police to investigate the matter.

Although the school never faced a direct threat, we must take all such reports seriously to ensure the well-being of our students and staff. Some of you have expressed your concern regarding the communications of this matter to the public; please be assured that we release all information as soon as it is made available by law enforcement officials. To ensure you receive all future emergency notifications, please sign up for the school system’s e-Alerts by clicking here.

EARLIER: Wednesday – 12/19/2012, 10:16am ET

LAUREL, Md. – Students at Laurel High School are credited with helping to avert “a potentially, very dangerous situation” after alerting school officials about a classmate who may have wanted to harm others. That student is now receiving mental health care.

“We think a potentially, very dangerous situation was averted,” Pete Piringer, a spokesman for the City of Laurel, told WTOP.

“We do believe he did have access to guns,” Piringer said.

Students concerned about threatening comments that made them uncomfortable told a teacher their concerns. School security then alerted police.

“We found some materials in the student’s locker, which led us to believe he might want to do some harm to people. These were some drawings, diagrams and charts, things of that nature,” Piringer said.

“For whatever reason, the investigators believed he had access to weapons. The combination of all those things — his behavior, the information in his locker and fact he may have access to weapons — lent credibility to the fact he may want to harm somebody.”

The student was not in classes Monday. After consulting with the student’s parents, Piringer said police had the student admitted to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation.

There is a “heightened awareness,” among students, Piringer said, after Friday’s massacre in Newtown that killed 20 children and seven adults.

“This is a classic case of ‘see something, say something,'” Piringer said.

The age of the student who allegedly made the threats has not been released.

WTOP’s Andrew Mollenbeck contributed to this report. Follow @MollenbeckWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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