UPDATE, Nov. 4, 2:58 p.m. — The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office provided a fuller narrative of what supposedly happened on Thursday, Nov. 3, prompting the lockdown at Green Valley Elementary School.
Deputies said they received a call that a number of people at the school had been stabbed around 12:25 p.m. They called the school, themselves, and found there had been no stabbings, but 27 Fifth Grade students and a teacher were missing.
Investigators talked to people at the Frederick County Emergency Communications Center and found out that the call about the stabbings came from The Buzz, a café located at 11801 Fingerboard Rd. (The school’s address is 11501 Fingerboard Rd.) The missing students and teacher were there. Deputies went to the café and Green Valley Elementary School.
The school had been placed on lockdown. The 27 missing students were bussed back to Green Valley around 1:35 p.m. School administrators moved things from a lockdown status to a hold status, then to a secure status. At that point, students were allowed to go about their business as usual inside the building only. School staff members continued to ensure that doors to the outside were locked. By 2 p.m., parents and guardians were allowed to pick up children. Any students who were not picked up left the school at normal dismissal time.
Deputies took the teacher into custody and to the Frederick Health Hospital for an evaluation.
Investigators said they determined these things happened at the school Thursday:
- The teacher is inside the school with the 27 children and attempts to call the front office, using her school issued walkie-talkie, to get permission to take them outside for class. She does not get a reply and believes the school seems eerily quiet.
- As part of her teaching in emergency management procedures and following the avoid, deny, defend tactics, she leads the children through the woods and 7/10 of a mile up the road to The Buzz café.
- As they are walking through the woods, she has the children remove any brightly colored clothing or accessories and removes her own brightly colored shirt to avoid detection.
- She arrives to the Buzz café and has store representatives call 911 and report multiple stabbings at the school. After a few minutes on the phone with the store representatives, dispatchers finally get the teacher on the phone, and she explains what she thinks happened.
- Deputies and FCPS administrators immediately respond to both scenes, secure the scenes, take 100 percent accountability, and assist with the reunifications of students with their parents.
The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said it and Frederick County Public Schools were conducting a joint investigation. FCSO is working with the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office to determine if charges should be placed. Deputies still were investigating why the teacher supposedly reported the stabbings.
FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — Sheriff’s deputies said an elementary school teacher was responsible for creating a panic Thursday after the teacher had someone call to report that a number of people had been stabbed at the school.
The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said it determined that no stabbings had taken place at Green Valley Elementary School. The school, which was on lockdown because of the report, is located at 11501 Fingerboard Rd. in Monrovia.
Police said the teacher who had the person call in the report took 27 students through woods to a café at the time of the falsely reported incident.
By early Friday morning, deputies hadn’t said if anyone would face charges.
Frederick County Public Schools provided DC News Now with information it sent to families at Green Valley and families in the broader school district on Friday.
In the message to the entire community, FCPS said, in part:
Yesterday afternoon a school employee took a class of fifth grade students off site as she used the “avoid” strategy in our Avoid, Deny, Defend (ADD) security drill. This staff member believed there was a concern for safety that caused her to act. The avoid strategy is one we train staff and students to use when they believe there is an immediate threat to student safety. We are grateful that this was a non-credible threat, but we know that the experience was upsetting for the students involved and our community at large. We regret that this happened.
FCPS targeted communication yesterday to our Green Valley Community, specifically. Two initial communications were focused on communicating information about the details as they were understood at the time and to ensure families knew there was no credible threat of violence at the school. In addition to the community message sent yesterday, school staff personally contacted each of the families whose children were with the teacher who moved them off site. Staff provided support and information to those families that we hoped could help them process the event with their children. The school and central staff also held a meeting this morning on site for parents of the impacted students to get additional information and services for their children. We have additional mental health staff at the school today and next week to work with any child or staff member who may need support.
Read the entire statement to families in the school district here.
Read the statement to the Green Valley Elementary School community here.
Frederick County Public Schools said it was continuing to investigate what led to the teacher’s actions. It said that, along with understanding the sequence of events that took place, would help school officials determine if the district needed to take any further steps.