VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Whether it was intentional or not, a Landstown Middle School student has been charged with two felony counts of possessing bomb-making materials after chemical explosive devices were found inside his locker.
The discovery got the 13-year-old student thrown in a juvenile detention center and parents who talked to News 3 were shocked when they found out about the charges.
"That is crazy!" said parent Christine Mills, who was picking up her 6th grade student from school on Tuesday. "We moved from the Washington D.C. area because we thought this was safer down here," she told News 3's Merris Badcock.
According to school administrators, a teacher told a school resource officer about possible explosive devices inside a student's locker on Thursday.
"A student was running his mouth to another student," one parent told News 3. The next day the student was arrested.
Mahogany Mitchel is a parent to a 6th grader at Landstown Middle School. She told News 3 the school did give her an automated phone call on Friday about a 'bomb investigation', but she found out about the student's arrest from us.
"Yes, I probably would have yanked him out of school if I would have known as soon as they found out," Mitchell said.
Investigators told media outlets they do not believe the student had any malicious intent for the explosives or intended to harm anyone. However, the kid still had to spend the weekend in a juvenile detention center.
Students tell News 3 they know the 13-year-old boy who was arrested. Off camera, they described him as a "really, really smart" honors student. Other students say the boy is curious and always building things.
Officials say along with the two felony charges, he could also face disciplinary action from the school.
School officials could only say "appropriate action" had been taken. However, according to Virginia Beach Public School's Code of Student Conduct, possessing an explosive device on campus is grounds for mandatory expulsion.
The school sent an alert message to parents:
Good evening, parents. This is Principal John Parkman. I am calling to share with you that our school administration was informed that a student had potentially hazardous materials in his locker. We immediately intervened and contacted the Virginia Beach Police Department. The Police Department, in conjunction with the Virginia Beach Fire Department, are of investigating this matter.
I am sharing this with you for two reasons. First, I want to remind our students that hazardous materials of any kind are not allowed on school grounds and having them can result in serious consequences. In this case, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken pending the outcome of possible criminal charges.
Second, I would like to encourage everyone that if you see something, say something. Please talk with your child and ask for their assistance in ending the school year on the right note – with good judgment and responsible decision making. As always, I thank you for your continued support of Landstown Middle School.