The Bulletin

Multiple Virginia school districts targeted with hoax bomb threats

By: - October 11, 2023 4:34 pm

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More than half a dozen Virginia school districts received bomb threats Tuesday and Wednesday in what could have been a coordinated effort to disrupt schools. 

“The Virginia State Police is aware of and tracking the various local law enforcement agencies that responded to bomb threats called in to local schools across the commonwealth yesterday and today,” said Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller in an email. 

While Geller noted that local law enforcement and school districts aren’t required to report threats to VSP, she said the agency is aware of seven occurring across Virginia Oct. 10 “and several more happening today and in other states.” 

Local agencies, including those in Madison County, have said they believe the threats were part of a nationwide hoax.  

According to local reports from around Virginia, the following school districts have received threats: 

During the 2023 General Assembly session, lawmakers passed legislation extending penalties for calling in a false threat to 911 with the intent of drawing a large police response to cover false threats made directly to schools. The practice, known as swatting, has become increasingly disruptive in Virginia and nationwide. Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported that more than 500 schools in the U.S. have been targeted in a “coordinated campaign” of hoax threats over the past year.

Did you or your child’s school receive a threat Oct. 10 or 11 that isn’t listed above? Let us know at [email protected]


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Sarah Vogelsong
Sarah Vogelsong

Sarah is Editor-in-Chief of the Mercury and previously its environment and energy reporter. She has worked for multiple Virginia and regional publications, including Chesapeake Bay Journal, The Progress-Index and The Caroline Progress. Her reporting has won awards from groups such as the Society of Environmental Journalists and Virginia Press Association, and she is an alumna of the Columbia Energy Journalism Initiative and Metcalf Institute Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists.