Nov. 5—The Green Valley Elementary School teacher who took 27 students off campus Thursday and made a false report of a mass stabbing was taken to the hospital afterward, authorities said Friday.
The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office — which initially shared information about the incident Thursday afternoon — gave a more detailed account in a news release Friday, though it did not identify the teacher or disclose her condition.
The teacher was inside the school Thursday when she attempted to contact the front office via her walkie-talkie, seeking permission to take her fifth graders outside for class, the sheriff’s office said. She did not get a reply and believed “the school seem[ed] eerily quiet,” the release read.
She then led the children outside toward a wooded path and walked them about three-quarters of a mile to The Buzz, a cafe along Md. 80.
While the group was walking through the woods, the teacher told the children to “remove any brightly colored clothing or accessories,” the release said. The teacher also removed her own brightly colored shirt “to avoid detection.”
Once the teacher and her students arrived at the cafe, the teacher told a cafe employee to call 911 and report multiple stabbings at the school, according to the sheriff’s office.
After a few minutes, the release said, the cafe employee put the teacher on the phone, and she “explains what she thinks happened,” the release said.
Sheriff’s deputies and Frederick County Public Schools administrators immediately responded to both the school and the cafe.
Deputies quickly determined there had been no stabbings but that a teacher and 27 students were missing from the school.
The school went into lockdown and remained in that status for about an hour.
The lockdown was lifted at about 1:35 p.m., once the students had been bused back to the school, the sheriff’s office release said.
Deputies placed the teacher in custody, but she was not arrested, charged or handcuffed. Authorities took her to Frederick Health Hospital for an evaluation.
“As to why the teacher reported multiple stabbings, that is still part of the ongoing investigations,” the release said.
In an email to the community Friday morning, FCPS said that the teacher “believed there was a concern for safety that caused her to act.”
She used the “avoid” strategy as outlined in the district’s Avoid, Deny, Defend training system, the FCPS email said.
“The avoid strategy is one we train staff and students to use when they believe there is an immediate threat to student safety,” the email read. “We are grateful that this was a non-credible threat, but we know that the experience was upsetting for the students involved and our community at large. We regret that this happened.”
Additional mental health providers were on hand at the school Friday and will be available next week, too, the sheriff’s office wrote.
Deputies are working with the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office to determine whether the teacher will be charged.
FCPS said in its email that it “does not share specific information regarding personnel issues.”
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