Lynchburg’s Commonwealth’s Attorney discusses school threat consequences

LYNCHBURG, Va. – School threats have become all too common lately. On Monday, a 15-year-old boy was charged after allegedly making a bomb threat to E.C. Glass High School.

Lynchburg police said they plan to hold the minor fully accountable under the law.

Lynchburg’s Commonwealth’s Attorney Bethany Harrison said depending on the details of the school threat, the punishment ranges from a misdemeanor to a Class 5 or 6 felony. That’s up to 10 years behind bars.

“Our school administration, our police department, our fire department everyone takes it very seriously,” Harrison said. “Sadly in this day and age, you have to take it very seriously.”

Harrison said threats like this one not only disrupt learning but instill fear.

This isn’t the first time that there’s been a school threat at E.C. Glass. In January, a 14-year-old boy at E.C. Glass was charged with making a threatening phone call.

In May, Governor Glenn Youngkin and Delegate Wendell Walker paid a visit to the school to introduce legislation to increase the penalties for intentionally reporting a false emergency or swatting.

Although not under the new law, police are pursuing two felonies against the 15-year-old boy who made Monday’s threat.

“That felony can follow someone all their life and have really grave consequences,” Harrison said. “It affects somebody’s ability to vote, to possess a firearm, to hold a political office.”

Harrison recommends parents speak with their kids so something like this doesn’t happen again.

“Let them know don’t joke around with this, don’t you know send a text to someone or a social media post or write a note even joking about bombing, shooting, burning any of those things because the consequences can be severe,” Harrison said.

The teen is expected to appear in court on September 27.

About the Author:

Amy Cockerham joined the 10 News team in January 2023.