Death of student under investigation at Virginia Beach high school

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Police are investigating the death of a student at Salem High School in Virginia Beach, a police spokesperson has confirmed.

Officials with Virginia Beach City Public Schools initially said Thursday morning that the school was placed on lockdown due to a medical emergency. Police responded to the school for a cardiac arrest call.

The district decided to dismiss students from Salem at noon, and cancelled all after-school activities.

Officials first alerted parents to the lockdown in a phone message Thursday morning. A Salem parent told 10 On Your Side Thursday is the “A Day in the Sun” event at the school, where parents can tour the school and go to classes with their students to see what their day is like.

The school’s principal later sent out a message about the early dismissal and the student’s death.

Good morning, Salem High School parents.

This is Principal Matt Delaney calling with an update to today’s external lockdown. I want to let you know that police are investigating the death of an individual student at our school. Officers tell us that no foul play is suspected and police are not looking for a suspect. While the external lockdown continues, we are making plans for an early departure for all students by 12:00 p.m. today. Students will be offered a bag lunch as they exit the building. Bus transportation will be provided and dismissal will occur as usual. There is no need for parents to pick their children up at the school, unless this is your typical practice. In addition, all afterschool activities here at Salem High School are cancelled today. I appreciate your continued patience and understanding. This is a sad day for our Salem community. Please know that counselors are at the school now and will continue to be available in the days ahead. Thank you.

Police spokesperson Tonya Pierce says the family of the student has been notified.

WAVY.com received numerous tips Thursday morning that the incident may have involved a stabbing or a hanging. Pierce says there was no stabbing or hanging; a medical examiner will work to determine the cause of death.

Pierce says police are not looking for any suspects.

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