Student finds threatening note at Newport News middle school

Posted at 4:17 PM, Mar 29, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-29 16:17:48-04

Newport News, Va. – A student at Hines Middle School in Newport News made a startling discovery on Monday. An unsigned, suspicious note was found on the floor in a hallway which contained a list of students’ and teachers’ names.

The student immediately told a school security officer who then notified administrators.

School officials say the note was threatening in nature, but there was no evidence there was any immediate danger.

The students who were on the list were told and their parents were called.

The principal sent a letter home on Thursday to inform everyone about the note.

Parents were just notified about another incident earlier this week that occurred in January. Two 13-year-old boys are facing felonies after police say they spiked their teacher’s drink with hand sanitizer at the middle school.

Update: Parents of Hines Middle School students just notified of January attempted poisoning incident

Here is the letter that was sent to parents on Thursday: 

Dear Hines Families,

Every day our staff educates our students while providing a safe and nurturing environment. As you know, balancing the delicate needs and feelings of pre-teens and teens requires patience and understanding. Like most middle schools, we unfortunately have to address occasional inappropriate behavior and actions.

While most weeks at Hines are uneventful, this week we have had our share of inappropriate activity. In a phone message to families on Tuesday, I shared some details of an incident that occurred in January. On January 29, we received a tip that two students tampered with a teacher’s beverage. At that time, we conducted a thorough investigation in cooperation with the Newport News Police Department. The families of the students in the class were personally notified shortly after the incident. The students involved were immediately removed from our school and were later arrested; the teacher is still working at Hines.

On Monday of this week, one of our students discovered an unsigned, suspicious note on the floor in a hallway which contained a list of students’ and teachers’ names. The student immediately notified a school security officer, who notified administrators. Our police officer was also informed of this incident. An immediate investigation was launched and all Hines staff members were notified. We personally contacted each student, his/her parent, and the teachers whose names appeared on the list to advise them of the situation. This matter is still being investigated; we urge our students to notify us if they have any knowledge about the origin of this list.

Tuesday, a sixth-grade student reported to us that he had been threatened by another sixth-grade student. We informed our police officer and the threat was immediately investigated. The students involved were searched and a locker check was conducted because one student referenced having access to a weapon. Nothing was discovered. Another locker search was conducted on Wednesday. Again, nothing was found. The students involved with the threat have been excluded from school.

In each of these situations, a student came forward to inform us of the unacceptable and unlawful behavior. We commend our students for sharing the responsibility of keeping Hines safe and orderly. Students and family members are encouraged to keep us informed. Let us know if you hear or learn of anything that may have an impact on our students or our school. Our administrative team, our security officers, our staff and our police officer will respond immediately. Tips and other information may also be shared via our anonymous “See Something, Say Something” Safe Line: 283-7855.

The vast majority of our 900 students come to school each day ready to learn and contribute to their education. Through our partnership with our families we will continue to serve our students and ensure that they receive the tools they need to be successful in school and in life.

As always, we welcome input and suggestions from our Spartan family and we look forward to a successful fourth quarter.