CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia school that’s recently made headlines due to a controversial after-school club is under lockdown following a bomb threat Tuesday morning.
Chesapeake Police and Virginia State Police are investigating reports of bomb threats against B.M. Williams Primary School and several individuals in Chesapeake, Virginia.
A sign on the school’s front door stated it was on a level 1 lockdown, which means there is a threat (potential shooter, criminal, etc.) nearby, but the school itself is not necessarily being targeted. The school was to be locked until law enforcement officials gave the all-clear.
B.M. Williams Primary School is the school where the now-infamous After School Satan Club held its first meeting just days before the bomb threats. Officials have not confirmed whether the bomb threats are related to the club.
WAVY News received a copy of the email threat, which was sent to a number of addresses Tuesday morning. The text of the email mentioned threats toward a Chesapeake school board member, the Chesapeake schools superintendent and the organizer of the After School Satan Club. The email reads: “You are evil, there is no other way to put it.” It goes on to say, “You promote devil worship and unIslamic values.”
Chesapeake Police confirmed Tuesday morning that they were aware of the threat and were investigating its validity.
The after-school meeting in question was held Thursday at B.M. Williams after months of contention over the club’s potential use of school facilities. Outrage from some in the community resulted in the club being charged fees due to concerns over safety — fees that were ultimately either rescinded or refunded by Chesapeake Public Schools, allowing the meetings to finally begin.
After School Satan Club is a project of The Satanic Temple, a religious organization that is often confused with the earlier Church of Satan, with which the Temple is not aligned. TST is known for its advocacy and legal challenges to anti-LGBTQ laws and abortion bans.
According to TST, After School Satan Club chapters are opened at public schools in response to other religious groups opening or operating clubs at schools. The Chesapeake club was opened after an Evangelical Good News Club began operating at B.M. Williams. The organization says After School Satan Clubs “provide a safe and inclusive alternative” to Christian-based groups that may seek to “convert school children to their belief system.”
No further information has been released.
This is a developing story.