UPDATE @ 4:20 p.m. (April 8)
A 16-year-old boy is now accused of leaving the bomb threat he reported finding Wednesday morning at Shawnee High School.
The student is charged with inducing panic and criminal mischief and is being held in the Clark County Juvenile Detention Facility, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.
The 16-year-old reported at 9:30 a.m. he found the bomb threat written on a bathroom wall, which deputies said indicated there was a bomb in a locker at the school, 1675 E. Possum Road. The threat forced the evacuation of the school and led to the response of K-9 units from the Wright Patterson Air Force Base Explosive Disposal Unit, which did not find any devices. At 11 a.m., students and staff were allowed back inside.
FIRST REPORT (April 6)
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a bomb threat was discovered on a bathroom wall that forced Shawnee High School to evacuate students for about two hours on Wednesday morning.
The threat was found about 9 a.m. on the second floor boys’ bathroom wall, according to Sheriff Gene Kelly. Students were evacuated to the football field and later placed in the nearby Student Athletic Center.
The threat indicated a bomb was left in a specific area of the school in a locker, Kelly said.
“Immediately, the Shawnee administration took the appropriate action, evacuating the school,” Kelly said.
The Sheriff’s Office sent multiple units and called the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base bomb-sniffing dog unit, which sent a large crew, including two dogs, to quickly inspect the area, Kelly said.
“With two dogs, were very quickly able to check the area identified with the threat,” Kelly said. “We’re so fortunate to have them close. They were here so quickly.”
The school has extensive drills to keep students safe, Shawnee senior Lukas Moore said. At first students didn’t think thought it wasn’t serious, he said, but quickly realized it wasn’t a drill. Students weren’t panicking and schools officials handled it well, Moore said.
“Once they said they were moving us into the SAC, that’s when we knew it was not a drill anymore,” Moore said.
Students returned to class at about 11 a.m. after law enforcement officials determined the threat wasn’t credible, Superintendent Gregg Morris said.
“It was a threat we wanted to investigate to ensure safety,” he said.
This was the first time this school year the high school was evacuated for a threat, Morris said. However Rockway School was evacuated last October after a report of a bomb threat that was later determined to not be credible.
The sheriff’s office was reviewing video footage from inside the school and interviewing students as part of the investigation Wednesday afternoon.
“Every threat is taken to the highest level to make sure that our schools are safe places for our children,” Kelly said. “We’re not going to stop until we resolve this.”
The individuals responsible will be charged if they’re identified, Kelly said.
“Parents and students alike need to understand that these are crimes,” Kelly said. “This type of inducement indicating that a bomb is present is something that’s criminal. If you’re located and identified, you’re going to be charged. These are serious crimes.”
Students should be reprimanded, Moore said, but it shouldn’t be too severe.
The threats are becoming so common, students aren’t taking them seriously at school, Moore said. However, students are better prepared than they were two years ago.
“I don’t understand why people do that,” Moore said. “Kids get caught over and over again. I don’t know if they think it’s funny or what.”
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office responded to a record number of threats at area schools in 2015, eight times in the 2014-2015 school year.
Last October two separate threats were discovered at Tecumseh High School. In one of the threats, the sheriff’s department and bomb-sniffing dogs from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Dayton Airport Police responded, costing about $14,000 in man hours lost, school leaders said.
A 12-year-old Tecumseh Middle School student was charged with inducing panic and criminal mischief last month after writing a threat on the bathroom wall. The lock-down marked the third time in the previous weeks students had to shelter in place at the middle school.