Detectives are investigating a “social media threat” against T. Benton Gayle Middle School in Stafford County and Thornburg Middle School in Spotsylvania County, police say.

The social media post contained a photo of a gun and a threat to the schools, police say, but they are providing extra security at the schools.

“At this point, we are confirming yes, there was a social media post threatening Gayle Middle School in Stafford,” said Amanda Vicinanzo, a public information officer for Stafford County Sheriff’s Department. “Detectives are investigating.”

Vicinanzo said police are not releasing further details about the threat.

Vicinanzo also confirmed the post was circulated on Facebook and contained “a threatening message.”


“Detectives are confirming there was a handgun pictured in the social media post,” Vicinanzo said. “They have not determined whether it was real or not. But they are treating it as real. As far as we are concerned, we take every threat against our community and especially our schools seriously.”


Vincinanzo added that “In the wake of the shooting in Florida, “we’ve had enhanced law enforcement out of an abundance of caution.”

A Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson said the social media threat was posted in the last two days.

“They are still investigating,” a spokesperson for the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Department. “But it does not appear to be a credible threat. It was a social media post kids were sending around.”

Stafford County schools and offices are closed Monday for President’s Day.

Spotsylvania County schools are scheduled to open Monday. Rene P. Daniels, Director of Communications in Spotsylvania County Public Schools, said there will be additional Sheriff’s Office deputies on Monday at the Thornburg middle schools.