Several parents have said they kept their Lucketts Elementary students home from school today after they were informed of a threat to one of the school’s staff members.
Lucketts Elementary Principal Carolyn Clement emailed parents last week to explain why a Loudoun sheriff deputy had been stationed outside of the building since the school year started Aug. 23. Deputies have been temporarily assigned to the school as a precaution “as the result of a domestic issue involving a staff member,” Clement wrote.
She said that Lucketts Elementary is safe, and the concern does not involve other staff members or students. “Because this is an active law enforcement investigation, there aren’t any further details I can share,” Clement wrote.
Kraig Troxell, public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office, said the Sheriff’s Office was notified on Aug. 20 that a man had made a threat over the phone to a Lucketts Elementary staff member on Aug. 17. The staff member and the man who made the threat know each other. The man was arrested and charged with making a threat. As a precaution, the school system requested that the Sheriff’s Office provide security at the school. “There have been no incidents at the school regarding this matter,” Troxell said.
The School Board and Superintendent Eric Williams received more than a dozen emails from Lucketts Elementary parents upset they hadn’t been informed about the threat until several weeks after it was made. Several parents are calling for the principal to be placed on leave and investigated for safety and security oversights.
Brian Groleau said he is keeping his two children out of school “indefinitely” until the principal is removed and the employee who is the victim of the threat reassigned. Another parent, Karli Pinto, has asked Williams and the School Board to place the staff member who has been threatened on paid, administrative leave until the threat has ended.
Principal Clement sent a second message late this afternoon to parents to say that the staff member “involved in the matter is away from Lucketts Elementary.” She said that a deputy will be stationed outside of the school for the immediate future.
Every public middle and high school in Loudoun County has assigned school resource officers, but elementary schools do not.