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JUST IN: Luther Jackson MS Valentine’s Day dance on hold after shooting threats

Luther Jackson Middle School entrance (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Luther Jackson Middle School students will have to wait for their first dance of the year.

The Valentine’s Day dance scheduled for this afternoon (Wednesday) has been postponed after threats of gun violence at the Merrifield school (3020 Gallows Road) were discovered earlier this week.

While Fairfax County police say there “does not appear to be any substantial threat at this time,” Luther Jackson officials announced the postponement yesterday (Tuesday) “out of an abundance of caution.”

“As soon as we have a new date selected, we will let everyone know,” the school said in a newsletter bulletin. “All tickets already purchased will be honored on the new event date once selected. Regular after-school activities will proceed as usual, and previously canceled activities have been added back on to the signup form.”

The first threat came in the form of graffiti found in a school restroom late Monday (Feb. 12) afternoon, Luther Jackson principal Raven Jones said in a message sent to parents at 8:14 p.m. that day. The graffiti made a “vague” threat that there would be a shooting at the school on “Thursday.”

“We notified the Office of Safety and Security and the Fairfax County Police who have responded, checked the school and begun an investigation,” Jones wrote. “Fairfax County Police continue to investigate but do not believe that there is a valid threat to the school based solely on this graffiti.”

As a precaution, additional security personnel were assigned to the school yesterday morning.

However, a second anonymous threat was found circulating on social media, claiming that there would be a shooting and possibly a bomb at Luther Jackson Middle School this Thursday, Feb. 15. The message appears to have first emerged on Instagram before getting shared on Twitter.

In an update sent to parents at 9:21 a.m. yesterday, Jones said school officials were “aware of the additional social media post also referencing a school shooting on Thursday.”

Fairfax County Police and our Office of Safety and Security are actively investigating. I do not have any further information to share at this time but will update you as soon as we are able. Additional safety and security staff will be monitoring our school.

The safety of our students is our primary concern, and we will always investigate these incidents as soon as we are made aware.

If you or your student has any information to share about this situation, please contact our Office of Safety at 571-423-2000 or through our anonymous safety tip line that you can access online, by text or by phone.

The Fairfax County Police Department says its investigation into the social media threat is ongoing, though there isn’t believed to be a “substantial” threat at this time.

“We urge the community to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity promptly,” the FCPD said. “Additionally, we encourage individuals to refrain from sharing unverified information on social media platforms to prevent unnecessary panic. The Fairfax County Police Department is committed to ensuring the safety and security of all individuals, and we will continue to work diligently to resolve this matter.”

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