Several Akron-Canton school districts reported threatening messages Tuesday and one district confronted a student after he posed on Facebook with a rifle and made comments that officials perceived as menacing in the wake of the Chardon killings.
Green High School evacuated classrooms shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday and excused students from afternoon classes after a student found a bomb threat scribbled on a restroom wall.
Summit County sheriff’s spokesman Bill Holland said the message read: “There’s a bomb in the building.”
About 1,400 students and staff were escorted out of the school and walked to the high school football field while the Summit County Bomb Squad searched the campus.
No bomb was found and no suspect was immediately identified.
Summit sheriff’s Detective Larry Brown told Green City Council members Tuesday night, however, that authorities have several leads and expect to follow through with prosecution soon.
The search was completed about 1:15 p.m. Tuesday. School officials notified parents in the afternoon they could pick up their children at the stadium or allow them to take a school bus home.
A long stream of cars lined up outside the high school as parents arrived to retrieve their children.
Parents were asked to provide identification before taking their children.
The evacuation evoked thoughts of Monday’s shooting at Chardon High School, where three students were killed and two were wounded.
“I was nervous. I was anxious. I was scared,” said Randa Zawahri, who drove to the school to pick up her son, George, 15, a freshman. “No one knew if it was real or fake.”
George Zawahri said students were initially told the evacuation was a drill. It wasn’t until they reached the football field that they learned of the threat.
“It was calm and organized,” he said.
Classes will resume today, authorities said.
In an automated phone message Tuesday evening to parents of children in the Revere school system, Superintendent Randy Boroff said a middle school student had been overheard making “inappropriate comments” and students alerted staff.
He said the school system is working with the Bath Police Department and, pending further investigation, the student would not be in school.
Late Tuesday evening, Bath police reported on their Facebook page that the student was charged with inducing panic and was booked into the Summit County Juvenile Justice Center. Bath police said they would be at the schools this morning.
Crestwood student held
In Portage County, a teenager is accused of posing with an AR-15 assault rifle and making threats in two Facebook postings. The 17-year-old was arrested as he arrived for classes Tuesday morning at Crestwood High School in Mantua.
The senior is charged as a juvenile with counts of inducing panic, aggravated menacing and telecommunications harassment.
Fellow students contacted school officials after discovering the Facebook postings dated Feb. 22 and Monday, the day of the Chardon shootings.
According to Portage County sheriff’s deputies, the earlier Facebook post stated: “I’m close to going on a stabbing spree. I can’t take some of these people anymore.”
A post on Monday read, “Who agrees with their friend that it’s a good idea to shoot up a school?”
School officials contacted sheriff’s deputies, who met the teen before classes Tuesday.
An AR-15 assault rifle belonging to the boy was taken from his home, said Lt. Gregory Johnson. The boy’s parents were aware he owned the weapon, he said. During interviews with detectives, the boy said he never intended to hurt anyone, Johnson said.
“He’s minimizing it,” Johnson said. “He said the one came because he was just upset that kids were acting up in study hall, that he didn’t mean he’d do anything.
“The last one, he was more commenting that the kid in Chardon had a friend who knew about [the Chardon High School shooting] and didn’t do anything about it.”
Johnson said the investigation is continuing, and prosecutors will review the results.
Concern in Waterloo
At Waterloo High School, also in Portage County, a “message perceived to be a threat” was found on a bathroom wall late Tuesday morning. School officials said it was not a bomb threat.
The author of the message has not been identified. Portage sheriff’s deputies are investigating.
Superintendent Andrew Hill told parents of the situation in an email Tuesday afternoon.
“As I write this to you, they have not been able to determine who wrote the message, why the message was written or what the intent of the message was,” he wrote.
In reaction to the Chardon shootings, the Waterloo Community Action Committee is hosting a town hall meeting at 7 p.m. March 7 about safety procedures in Waterloo schools. The meeting will be in the elementary/middle school cafetorium.