Mom arrested for threatening to blow up middle school

Posted at 10:00 PM, Apr 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-24 19:48:17-04

Newport News, Va. - A mother of a local middle school student was arrested for making threats to bomb Hines Middle School.

Newport News police arrested 32-year-old Latasha Dennis at her place of employment Tuesday morning.

Police say the principal notified them saying that she contacted the school just before 4 p.m. asking to speak to a specific teacher. When she was told that she couldn't because of the hour of the day, she made threats to blow the school up.

According to a complaint affidavit filed in court, her child had been written up for disrespectful behavior by the teacher that day.

The complaint went on to say that when police went to arrest her, she said she had called the school and apologized and didn't mean what she said.

A school spokesperson says even though the threat did not seem credible, they have to take all threats seriously.

The school was searched before students returned Tuesday.

Even though nothing was found, it's upsetting for parents.

"I have two children that come to this school, one’s autistic.  He’s already scared to come to this school and now a bomb threat gets called in. Today he’s not even in school.  He refuses to come back to school," said Sherri Johnston.

This is the third incident reported at Hines Middle School this year.  In March, two 13-year-old boys were charged with attempted poisoning.  Police say they had been putting hand sanitizer into a teacher's drinks.  In a separate incident later that week, a threatening note was found in a school hallway.

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

"I never heard of a middle school having any problems until this year, and that’s ridiculous. I thought it was staying in the high schools, but like I said, they need to bring more security into the schools, they really do.  And I keep hearing all these cuts, these budget cuts, you know what, the kids are worth it, quit cutting the budget and take care of our kids," said Johnston.