After Threats Shutter Roanoke Schools, Parents Scrutinize How Officials Respond

Some parents see the school district as changing tack after community members raise concerns, which school officials deny.

Roanoke City Public Schools says it follows state-outlined procedures on how to respond to and communicate about threats, which can vary based on their credibility or urgency. PHOTO BY HENRI GENDREAU FOR THE ROANOKE RAMBLER

When violent threats surfaced on social media last week, Roanoke City Public Schools shuttered schools for two days.

Federal authorities announced a criminal charge against a 35-year-old man, and police later said a 15-year-old student would face the same felony for a copycat threat to shoot up a school.

For some parents, the actions were a sign school administrators were cracking down — after controversy flared last month over how the district handled a Grandin Court Elementary School student who told children last fall he was going to kill people.