Police are investigating a bomb threat a Virginia primary school received after the first meeting of the school’s “Satan Club.”
B.M. Williams Primary School, located at 1100 N. Battlefield Blvd in Chesapeake, Virginia, released students early on Tuesday after the school received a threatening message, WAVY reported.
#BREAKING Police are investigating a threat at B.M. Williams Primary School in Chesapeake. @VSPPIO and @ChesapeakePD are on scene as well. We’re working to learn more details about what’s going on. Stay with @WAVY_News for updates. pic.twitter.com/FsiDD5NoMZ
— Jon Dowding (@JonDowding) February 21, 2023
“You are evil, there is no other way to put it.” the message read, according to the outlet. “You promote devil worship and unIslamic values.”
“The sender then said that they would set the bombs off once everyone is evacuated,” WTKR reported.
The school went into lockdown, and it appeared some children were being evacuated as early as 11:00 a.m., per WTKR.
Parents at B.M. Williams Primary School in #Chesapeake are still picking up their children following a lockdown. This – after police were called for a bomb threat made to the school. Fire officials say a sweep of the school found nothing. @WTKR3 https://t.co/m3U5xunFlx pic.twitter.com/TpR7VuQfvW
— Antoinette DelBel (@AnnieDelBel) February 21, 2023
At 11:30 a.m., the school’s communications director sent a message advising parents that there would be an early release at noon, per WAVY:
Early this morning, we received an anonymous email with a bomb threat. The Fire-Marshal and Chesapeake Police Department were immediately contacted to investigate the concern. As an additional precaution, students were evacuated while the building was assessed. Unfortunately, the building assessment is taking longer than initially anticipated. As a result, we will have an early dismissal at 12 p.m. today and all after school activities will be canceled. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
All bus riders will be returned home by their bus. Car riders should be picked up by parents or guardians at the front of the building in the pick up line and will be supervised until pickup. Please have your identification ready if you are picking up your child.
Two dogs who were trained to detect explosives only led police to one object of interest: a backpack, which turned out to be empty, 13 News Now reported.
DEVELOPING: The school has gained attention recently for the launch of an After School Satan Club (ASSC). https://t.co/g2etMXYzXO
— 13News Now (@13NewsNow) February 21, 2023
A 3:30 p.m. statement from the FBI indicated that federal law enforcement had been alerted to the threat, per WTKR:
The FBI is aware of the bomb threat received by BM William’s Primary School. The FBI takes all potential threats seriously and we regularly work with our law enforcement partners to determine their credibility. As always, we would like to remind members of the public that if they observe anything suspicious to report it to law enforcement immediately. The Chesapeake Fire Marshall’s office is the lead investigative agency.
The American Civil Liberties Union Virginia announced on February 16 that the school’s “Satan Club” had held its first meeting.
The ACLU said some parents had been motivated to start the club to provide students with an “alternative program” to a Christian group that had been set up at the school.
WTKR noted that the threat seems to have specifically targeted an ACLU attorney who volunteered with the club.
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