Investigators from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office Homeland Security and Intelligence Section and school resource officers are working together with Charles County Public Schools to investigate a bomb threat sent to students via an air-dropped message earlier today.
The message threatened to detonate a bomb in all Charles County schools on March 24, 2023. Students who received the message reported it to school administrators, who immediately contacted law enforcement.
A preliminary investigation has revealed that the source of the message is unknown. However, investigators have learned that schools nationwide have received similar air-dropped messages about bomb threats.
Authorities are urging anyone with information about the incident to come forward. “We take all threats seriously, and the safety of our students and staff is always our top priority,” said Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry. “We are working diligently to identify the person or persons responsible for this threat.”
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call PFC Joffe at 301-609-3282 ext. 0608. Those who wish to remain anonymous may contact Charles County Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS or by submitting a tip online at www.charlescountycrimesolvers.com or via the P3Intel mobile app.
The school district is asking parents and guardians to talk to their children about the seriousness of making threats and to encourage them to report any suspicious behavior to school officials or law enforcement.
The following email was sent to parents by Superintendent Navarro. The Southern Maryland Chronicle is working to find out more information and will update when verified information is obtained.
Dear Parents and Guardians:
Today we learned of an alleged bomb threat that is circulating among some of our high school students. According to the information we have, students reported that they received a message through a mobile air drop that indicated a bomb would be placed around all Charles County schools this Friday. We are working with our Office of School Safety and Security and the Charles County Sheriff’s Office to investigate.
The image that is circulating includes a few typos, as well as a smiley face emoji. At this point, we believe it may have been authored by a student. School systems across the United States, including other counties in Maryland, have recently experienced similar reports of possible bomb threats.
The safety of all students, staff and Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) buildings and facilities is a top priority. School system administrators will follow our established response protocols and, in partnership with the sheriff’s office and our Office of School Safety and Security, will also investigate any reported threats to school safety, our students, staff or facilities.
If you have any information about possible safety threats, please report them to police, a school administrator or through our See Something, Say Something online confidential reporting tool posted at https://www.ccboe.com/community/see-something-say-something.
Thank you to the students who shared the information about a possible safety concern with an administrator. This is what we need more of our students to feel comfortable doing.
Parents, please encourage your child to report any possible safety concern to a teacher, administrator or other adult at school that they trust. I also ask that parents talk with their children about the seriousness of making any threats, whether intentional or as a joke, against others. Students who are found to have made any threats to the safety of any of our schools, students or staff, face disciplinary action outlined in the CCPS Code of Student Conduct (CCPS) and possible charges by police. We will involve police any time we receive reports about safety concerns.
It is important that we continue to work together to ensure our schools are safe places for teaching and learning. Thank you for your continued support of Charles County Public Schools.
Maria V. Navarro, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools