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Maryland high school student committed after 'credible threat' found

A Maryland high school student has been committed for psychiatric evaluation after his peers raised concerns about him, prompting investigators to search his locker and hospitalize him after finding a "credible threat," an official said.


Investigators and school security found graphs, charts, diagrams, and lists in the Laurel High School student's locker on Monday that suggested he may be planning to harm other people, said Pete Piringer, spokesman for the city of Laurel.

"There were no weapons involved, although investigators believe the student did have access to weapons," Piringer said. "Along with that potential access and the items they found in his locker, his behavior, and the fact that the classmates were uncomfortable, all led to it being a fairly credible threat."

The student -- whose identity and age were kept private -- was taken to a local hospital for an emergency committal, where he still remains. He was never charged or arrested, Piringer said.

"The student was not at the school at the time [of his hospitalization]. His family was cooperating," Piringer said.  "He's getting some psychiatric evaluation."

The school never faced any direct threats, and Laurel High's school day proceeded as normal, he said. Piringer credits the student's concerned classmates -- who brought their worries to a teacher last week -- with potentially averting a threat.

"The teacher concurred with their assessment and advised security, security then called us on Monday," Piringer said. "A large part of the credit needs to be given to the students in the first place for coming forward and notifying the authorities. Fortunately, the student is now, with the cooperation of his parents of course, at the hospital getting some medical attention."

Laurel, Md., is about 20 miles southwest of Baltimore. Laurel High School Principal Dwayne Jones wrote on the school's website after Monday's incident, "At no time were any students threatened, harmed or placed in danger. It is my belief that the cooperation between Laurel High School and the Laurel City Police is a prime example of how schools and local law enforcement can work together to insure the well-being of students."

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