Maryland law enforcement and school district officials are investigating after an elementary school teacher made unsubstantiated claims about multiple stabbings at the school before taking 27 fifth-graders off campus to a local cafeteria.
Just before 12:30 a.m. Thursday, deputies received a call about multiple stabbings at Green Valley Elementary School in Monrovia, according to a news release from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office. Monrovia is approximately 40 minutes from Baltimore.
Instead, deputies quickly learned there had been no stabbings at the school, but 27 students and one teacher were missing, the sheriff’s office said. Authorities soon found all the students and the teacher at a local coffee shop, the sheriff’s office added. All of the missing students have been accounted for and reunited with their families and guardians, authorities said.
Earlier, the teacher reportedly tried to call the front desk to get permission to take the students out, but got no answer and thought the school seemed “offensively quiet,” the sheriff’s office said.
The teacher then decided to take the students through the woods to a nearby cafe, a decision he made because the authorities were involved in emergency management procedures.
“While walking through the woods, the child removes any brightly colored clothing or accessories and removes a brightly colored shirt for detection,” the sheriff’s office added.
According to a statement from Frederick County Public Schools, the teacher believed “there was a safety concern” and engaged in what the district called an “avoidance strategy,” which staff and students are trained to use when they believe there is an immediate threat. for the safety of the students.
There was no credible threat of violence at the school Thursday, the school district insisted.
“We appreciate that this was a non-credible threat, but we know that it was a disturbing experience for the students involved and our community as a whole. We regret that this happened,” added the school district.
When the students and teacher arrived at the cafeteria, the teacher called store representatives to 911 and reported multiple stabbings at the school and then explained to dispatchers what she thought happened, authorities said.
The teacher was arrested, which does not mean he was criminally arrested or charged, authorities said. He was taken to the hospital for evaluation, but was not handcuffed, they added.
Authorities did not publicly release the teacher’s name, nor his current condition.
The school district and the sheriff’s office are conducting a joint investigation to determine whether charges will be filed, the sheriff’s office said.
“Why the teacher reported multiple stabbings is still part of the ongoing investigation,” the sheriff’s office said.
The school district said school officials held a meeting for parents of affected students to get more information and services for children and will also have additional mental health staff at the school in the coming days for children and staff who need help, district officials said. .
CNN reached out to the district for further comment.