Maryland law enforcement and school district officials are investigating why an elementary school teacher made an unsubstantiated claim that multiple stabbings took place at school before leading 27 fifth graders out of school. from campus to a local cafe.
Shortly before 12:30 p.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 about 40 minutes west of Baltimore.
Instead, deputies quickly discovered there were no stabbings at the school but 27 students and a teacher were missing, the sheriff’s office said. Authorities quickly tracked down all of the students and the teacher at a local cafe, the sheriff’s office added. All of the missing students have been found and reunited with their families and guardians, authorities said.
Earlier today the teacher allegedly tried to call reception for permission to take the students outside but received no response and said the school seemed ‘strangely quiet’ , the sheriff’s office said.
The teacher then decided to lead the students through the woods to a nearby cafe – a decision authorities say they made because of her involvement in emergency management procedures.
“As they walk through the woods, she instructs the children to remove any brightly colored clothing or accessories and removes her own brightly colored shirt to avoid detection,” the sheriff’s office added.
According to a statement from Frederick County Public Schools, the teacher believed “there was a concern for safety” and acted in what the district called the “avoidance strategy,” which staff and students are trained to use when they believe there is an immediate threat. to student safety.
There was no credible threat of violence at the school on Thursday, the school district said.
“We are grateful that this is a non-credible threat, but we know the experience has been overwhelming for the students involved and our community as a whole. We regret that this happened,” the school district added.
When the students and the teacher arrived at the cafe, the teacher asked the store representatives to call 911 and report that there had been multiple stabbings at the school and then explained to the dispatchers what she thought happened, authorities said.
The teacher was taken into custody, which does not mean she has been arrested or charged criminally, authorities said. She was taken to hospital for evaluation but was not handcuffed, they added.
The name of the teacher has not been made public by the authorities, nor has her current status.
The school district and the sheriff’s office are conducting a joint investigation to determine if charges will be brought, the sheriff’s office said.
“As to why the teacher reported multiple stab wounds, this is still part of ongoing investigations,” the sheriff’s office said.
The school district said school officials have held a meeting for parents of affected students to get more information and services for the children and will also have additional mental health staff at the school. school over the next few weeks for children and staff who need support, district officials said. .
CNN has reached out to the district for further comment.