Threats reported at Wheaton, John F. Kennedy high schools were not credible, police say

Threats reported at Wheaton, John F. Kennedy high schools were not credible, police say

They happened the same day, but were unrelated

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Wheaton High

File photo

Correction: Due to a reporter’s error, a previous version of this story and headline incorrectly stated that a staff member of Wheaton High School made the threat.

This story was updated at 2:10 p.m. to include additional information provided by MCPS that was not previously available. 

Montgomery County police said threats reported at two county high schools about two miles apart in the Wheaton area on Thursday were both found to be not credible. The threats were unrelated, police said.

The first threat, police wrote on Twitter, was reported at Wheaton High School at 11:19 a.m. and the second threat was reported at 2:26 p.m. at John F. Kennedy High School, which is about two miles east on Randolph Road.

In a letter to community members at 1:50 p.m., MCPS wrote that a man walked into the front office at Wheaton High and “made a comment that suggested he had a weapon.” The man then left Wheaton High and walked to nearby Thomas Edison High School of Technology, where he was detained outside. No weapon was found, the message said.

While police were investigating, they received another report “suggesting a threat inside” of Edison. Police searched the building and found no threat, according to the message.

Officer Rick Goodale, a police spokesman, said the threat at Wheaton High was determined to be “not credible.” A staff member at that school reported the threat to police, he said. Goodale did not have additional details.

Wheaton High was not put on lockdown, a woman who answered the phone in the school’s office said.

Goodale said Thomas Edison High, which is next to Wheaton High, was put on lockdown for 45 minutes while authorities investigated the threat.

Derek Turner, an MCPS spokesman, said he thinks students texted parents during the lockdown at Thomas Edison High.

“Then the parents called 911 to say there was something going on. It was all interconnected,” he said.

The threat at John F. Kennedy High School, Goodale said, was determined not to be credible after police officers went to the school. Goodale had no additional details on that threat.

Staff writer Caitlynn Peetz contributed to this story.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com

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