Madison Schools bomb threat one of many being dealt with by region’s districts

District is second in Butler County to deal with threat in less than week.

BUTLER COUNTY — A bomb threat at Madison Schools K-12 campus had sheriff investigators on scene Tuesday, but there were no student injuries and deputies soon after arrival and search of buildings issued an all clear notification, said school officials.

It was the third northern Greater Cincinnati bomb threat disrupting school in less than two weeks.

Last week Middletown High School was evacuated for a time, with many students going home with school officials permission, due to a possible bomb threat when a suspicious package was found in a restroom.

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And days earlier, Princeton High School in northern Hamilton County was the target of a “swatting” hoax active shooter message phoned into the school and eight others in Ohio including some in the Greater Dayton area.

School and law enforcement officials said they are concerned by what appears to be a growing trend of hoax and possible threats of violence against schools.

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Madison Schools Superintendent Jeff Staggs told the Journal-News soon after the threat was reported “students are safe” and the K-12 classes had resumed as normal about one hour later after classes were earlier ordered in a temporary “hold in place” state where students remain in their current classrooms.

According to the Butler County Sheriff’s office, a student was reported to have been talking about a bomb bringing investigators to the school campus, which has the district’s total enrollment of about 1,500 students.

“All students are safe,” said Staggs. “I can’t comment on the particular details.”

The school shooting massacres of recent years, most recently the deadly armed attack in May at an elementary in Uvalde, Texas that saw 19 children and two teachers gunned down, has further ramped up already heightened school security concerns and measures by local schools.

In late September eight schools in the Greater Dayton, Springfield and Cincinnati areas — and more elsewhere in Ohio — were targeted for fake calls of armed attackers shooting up schools prompting local police and SWAT teams to race to school campuses. Other schools nationwide were also hit with the bogus phone calls.

The illegal practice, dubbed “swatting,” is a growing concern and now has prompted some state legislators to act with a proposed bill greatly increasing punishment for offenders.

State and federal grants made available since May’s massacre have been pursued and awarded to many area schools throughout Greater Cincinnati, Dayton and Springfield.

But the spending isn’t all focused on hardening school building targets.

Student mental health issues, particularly among those troubled youth who have expressed a potential for threatening violence or carrying out such actions like swatting, are now a higher priority, said area school officials.

Photojournalist Nick Graham contributed to this story.