‘Credible threat’ at Laurel High leads to student’s hospitalization -- Gazette.Net


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A Laurel High School student has been hospitalized for psychiatric evaluation after police reportedly found evidence of threats of harm against his classmates, according to a city official.

According to Laurel Public Information Officer Pete Piringer, Laurel High students approached a teacher with concerns Monday regarding the behavior of a classmate, which made them feel "very uncomfortable," Piringer said.

The student in question was not in school at the time and is not being identified, Piringer said.

Piringer said the teacher concurred with the students' assessment of the other student’s behavior and made school security aware of the concerns, after which the student's locker was investigated.

"In the locker, they found materials, charts and diagrams," Piringer said, adding, "These documents indicated he may attempt to do harm to others."

Piringer could not elaborate as to the nature of the materials, but said they represented a “credible threat.”

Laurel police were contacted, and after consultation with the student's parents, determined the student had access to weapons, Piringer said.

The student received an emergency hospital admittance for psychiatric evaluation, and is currently under the care of a physician and not in attendance at school, according to Piringer.

Laurel High School Principal Dwayne Jones posted on the school's website: "Following an investigation by our school security team and with the help of the Laurel City Police, we took the necessary steps to ensure that the student involved in this incident received the necessary intervention. At no time were any students threatened, harmed or placed in danger."

Piringer said no charges are being filed against the student.

Piringer said there has been a heightened awareness since Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., during which a shooter killed 20 children and six adults before taking his own life.

"The Police Chief is giving full credit to the students for coming forward," Piringer said, adding, "He believes very strongly in the Homeland Security motto of ‘If you see something, say something.’"

Prince George's County Public Schools spokesman Briant Coleman said the school system had no comment, as the matter is still under investigation by Laurel police.

"We are working closely with the Laurel Police Department and cooperating in their investigation," Coleman stated.

janfenson-comeau@gazette.net