Two Warren County boys accused of making threats against their schools were released this afternoon to their parents after passing polygraph tests.
Judge Joe Kirby required the polygraphs as cases piled up in the days after the deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
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“It’s the only way we can get inside the child’s mind,” Kirby said on Tuesday before releasing the boys to their parents and requiring electronic monitoring and 24-hour supervision.
Before releasing the first boy, a 17-year-old from Lebanon High School, Kirby issued a long statement about the need for the polygraph, noting the rise in shootings at schools and other places around the country.
“Sadly one of those threats is going to be acted on,” Kirby said.
Both boys have been in detention for about two weeks. Kirby said the polygraph gave him confidence the community and schools would be safe with their releases.
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In the Lebanon case, the student is charged with inducing panic by texting, “THAT’S IT IM GONNA SHOOT UP A SCHOOL I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE” to friends on Feb. 15.
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Lawyer Ed Perry said the school board had voted not to expel the boy, making it possible for him to return to school.
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But Kirby said this anticipated the boy attending the alternative school, rather than regular classes, at the high school.
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These were two of four cases in which Kirby turned to polygraph tests to help him decide whether the threats were empty and the community should be safe.
Also Tuesday, Kirby freed a 17-year-old Hamilton Twp. boy who will be able to return to the Warren County Career Center.
He had been in detention since Feb. 20.
He is alleged to have said he was “going to bring in a gun and shoot up the school on April 27th. The conversation was during English class approximately 1-2 weeks ago. A concerned parent of another student heard this from his daughter last night and contacted the school principal,” a Warren County Sheriff’s deputy said in court filings.
Both were released to their parents, while awaiting further hearings in their cases.