Giles County schools were scheduled to re-open on Wednesday following the Christmas break. But a tip from the Virginia State Police to the school system caused School Superintendent Terry Arbogast to postpone reopening until Thursday.
Giles County Sheriff Morgan Millirons said in a news conference that local law enforcement had been informed by Virginia State Police that a website article pointed out that “Sandy Hook” was referenced in a map from the movie The Dark Knight Rises. The premier of the Batman movie was the scene for the July shooting in Aurora, Colorado that killed 12 people and wounded dozens of others.
The website, www.revelationnow.net said that the next reference in the film was for “Narrows.” Narrows is a small town located in western Giles County. RevelationNow writer and editor Michael Erevna said that he Googled “Narrows” and came up with the Virginia schools. The article headline was “The Next School Massacre Target?”
In a statement, Arbogast said, “Again, please realize that there were no specific threats made against any of our schools in Giles County. However, based on this information, we are working with our local law enforcement officials to continue to ensure the safety of our students and our staff members.”
Each Giles County school already has a resource officer, but Sheriff Millirons said that additional law enforcement would be dispatched to patrol the schools.
The website later noted that Narrows could also refer to a location in New York City.
Some Giles County parents are understandably hesitant to send their children back to school. A petition was started at www.change.org and shared on Facebook called for school officials to hold an emergency meeting with parents to provide additional information regarding school security.
With the events in Connecticut last month, schools around the country obviously remain sensitive to these issues. But in a small town such as Narrows, potential threats such as these perhaps carry a deeper meaning.
Jarrett Lee Lane, a victim in the April 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech, was a 2003 graduate of Narrows High School.