Sunday, August 7, 2022

Police charge Berkeley Middle School student in connection with ‘threatening’ text messages

A Berkeley Middle School student is facing charges in connection with what school officials described as threatening messages sent to another student over the weekend.

Panagiotis Tsigaridas, the school’s principal, sent an email Monday to the BMS community informing them that a student had sent a text message over the weekend that threatened violence against the school and a small group of classmates.

The text message referred to a group of eight out of the 642 enrolled students and the students’ parents were messaged at noon on Monday as part of the investigation — the rest of the community was notified Monday afternoon, said Eileen Cox, spokeswoman for the department.

The student who received the text messages reported the threat and Williamsburg Police started an investigation. In his email on Monday afternoon, Tsigaridas said the student faced criminal charges and disciplinary action at the school.

A representative from the police department was not immediately available Monday to specify the charges — or release the content of the text.

Cox said in the student code of conduct, consequences for threatening messages at a middle school falls under four levels of punishments. The lowest being a call home to the student’s parents and the highest being a 10-day suspension from school with an automatic referral and hearing for long-term suspension.

“Our students need to know that there are real-life consequences for our digital actions, no matter if they are jokes, pranks or just an attempt to blow off steam,” Tsigaridas said.

During the time of investigation, the school did not go under lockdown, Cox said.

“I ask that you remind your children that if they ever see or hear something concerning, they should report it to an adult immediately,” Tsigaridas said.

Alexa Doironhttp://wydaily.com
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at alexa@localvoicemedia.com.

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