Richmond

Thomas Jefferson H.S. graduation postponed after threat prompts evacuation at Altria Theater

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) -- Thomas Jefferson High School seniors will have to wait to graduate after a threat prompted the graduation ceremony at the Altria Theater to abruptly end Wednesday night.

Just after 8:30 p.m., Richmond Police received a tip that there was an armed person in the assembly. Officers investigated and reported that no weapon was found.

In a statement, Richmond Public Schools explained that the ceremony was evacuated due to a safety concern, and that graduation would be rescheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 16.

"We appreciate the flexibility and understanding of all of our graduates, their families, and staff. Student safety is always a top priority and RPS looks forward to celebrating the graduates of Thomas Jefferson High School" -- RPS

People in the audience say no names had been called before Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras went on stage and told everyone to exit the theater. 

Jonathan Young, Richmond School Board member, shared his thoughts on the incident with 8News:

"I hate that this happened but our team made the right decision because it's better to err on the side of caution particularly because I think we are all mindful of for example the sinister plot that was allegedly planned at Bayside High School's prom in Virginia Beach the other day." 

Students who were ready to finally receive their diploma were noticeably unhappy with the outcome, as well as their families -- some traveling miles away to watch their favorite students walk across the stage.

"I waited 12 long years to get my diploma and it was a struggle getting it," Thomas Jefferson senior, TaQuan Grant, said. "Now, I have to wait a few extra days to get it because of stupidity, because of arrogance and because of ignorance." 

Stay with 8News for updates. 


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