St. Margaret Middle student on house arrest for alleged threats to hurt other students

A student at Bel Air's St. Margaret Middle School is under house arrest after allegedly making threats to other students last week, the Maryland State Police reported.

Police have also stepped up patrols around the school even though they do not believe any threat is imminent.

Bel Air police originally responded at 9:50 a.m. Thursday for reports of a 13-year-old boy who was threatening other students, Det. Sgt. Jeff Thomas of the Bel Air Barrack of Maryland State Police said.

The boy had allegedly been making verbal threats about causing bodily harm to other students for a couple of weeks, Thomas said.

Police determined "he did not have the means to carry out" the alleged threats, he said.

The boy was charged with disturbing school operations and making threatening remarks. He was ordered to be under house arrest for 30 days, Thomas said.

Police increased patrols around the school through the end of the academic year to reassure parents, he said.

"We took it very seriously and we charged the individual in an emergency hearing in Circuit Court," he said. "We don't feel there is any increased threats there [at the school]."

Employees at St. Margaret School said they were instructed to direct all questions about the incident to Maryland State Police. The private, Catholic school has two campuses, pre-school through fifth grade on Hickory Avenue in Bel Air and middle school on Route 22 in the Fountain Green area.

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