A safety concern raised at Chaloner Middle School Tuesday centered around a drawing based on the video game Call of Duty and never presented a threat to the facility or its faculty and students, according to Roanoke Rapids police.
The suspicious material was a map that depicted Chaloner Middle School, Chief Bobby Martin said. He said, however, “After looking at the map and after looking at the verbiage, it was a simulation of the video game Call of Duty.”
The piece of paper had been discarded. “A student picked it up and it ended up going home,” Martin said.
From that point the information was brought to the attention of school staff. “With that concern we immediately started an investigation into the suspicious information. Through our investigation and after doing an interview with the juvenile, we established there was no direct threat to Chaloner Middle School, the staff or students.”
The police chief said, “There was never any indication that anyone was going to shoot up a school.”
Martin did say, “It’s a very unfortunate situation and it affects not only students, faculty, staff, and parents, but the community as a whole. We want to make parents understand there is no threat.”
Martin said in a statement this morning, “The police department, once learning about the information, started an investigation into the situation.”
He said the preliminary investigation “has not uncovered any threats to the faculty or students at Chaloner Middle School. The police department continues to monitor this situation for the safety and security of the students and staff members.”
The police department placed extra officers at the school today “so the parents would feel comfortable with their children returning to school today.”
Martin said the police department is working closely with the school system on the matter. “We strive to ensure a safe educational environment for the students and faculty. The Roanoke Rapids Police Department takes all threats and security concerns seriously when it comes to the safety and security of our students and faculty.”
Martin said parents who want to discuss the matter with him are encouraged to call him at 252-533-2810.
Meanwhile, the school system said in a statement it received information of a possible safety concern Tuesday evening at Chaloner Middle School. “Our principals, school resource officer, and administration performed a threat assessment and immediately turned the matter over to the Roanoke Rapids police.
“In an effort to remain transparent, RRGSD alerted parents Tuesday evening by both social media and through the district’s phone and text alert system and requested additional law enforcement remain on campus during classes on Wednesday.”
Said Superintendent Dain Butler in the statement: “I want to ensure our entire school community that this matter is being handled in accordance with district policies and procedures. I also want to applaud our staff for their immediate and proactive response.”
The school system said the preliminary investigation by police “indicates there is no immediate threat to Chaloner Middle School’s students and faculty at this time … Safety and security of our students and staff remain a top priority. School officials take all threats seriously and we appreciate when students, parents, and the community report their concerns through our mobile app and website report it feature.”