TOWSON, MD — A private school in Towson was closed Monday because of a threat. Loyola Blakefield canceled classes on Monday, April 30, due to an online threat, police said. The school will reportedly reopen on Tuesday, May 1.
Investigators say they plan to file criminal charges once they find the perpetrator.
It was at least the second time this school year that a threat has resulted in a closure for the Catholic boys preparatory school.
Loyola Blakefield officials alerted police to a “social media threat aimed at the school” on Sunday night, according to Officer Jen Peach of the Baltimore County Police Department.
“Administrators at Loyola made the decision to close school for the day to allow us the time to investigate the threat and give us access to the school, if necessary, without disrupting school functions,” Peach told Patch.
SubscribeAlthough the investigation is ongoing, Peach said that officers had not found the threat to be credible.
“At this time we have no evidence that the social media post is a credible threat but will continue to investigate until we find the originator, with the intention of seeking criminal charges,” Peach said Monday afternoon.
Families were notified that the school would be closed on Monday, Fox 45 reported. During the morning newscast, a reporter from the station stood in an empty parking lot at the normally populated school on Chestnut Avenue.
The social media posts that prompted the closure did not target any specific groups, according to WBAL, which shared one that said: “The school better watch out for two weeks…”
Loyola Blakefield also closed during the winter due to a threat. School officials said that they found a “potentially threatening racist remark” in a bathroom stall on campus that “suggested that no one of color should attend school on ‘Thursday,'” police reported.
As a precaution, the executive staff decided to cancel classes at the Catholic boys preparatory school in the 500 block of Chestnut Avenue that day, which was on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017.
The school will reportedly reopen on Tuesday, May 1.
What To Do If You See A Social Media Threat
Threats have put schools on alert across the country recently, particularly after the Valentine’s Day shooting that left 17 dead in Parkland, Florida.
Officials in Baltimore County say the best policy if people see an online threat is to contact school administrators.
“We ask parents and students not to share social media threats if they see them; this only adds to the confusion and fear of students, parents and faculty members, and increases the difficulty of investigating the threat,” Officer Peach said.
“Instead, we ask that anyone who sees a social media threat on a school to call the school administration immediately so that they can initiate a police investigation,” she continued. “If the school cannot be reached, then call 911 and initiate a police investigation.”