OH tops list of most threatened schools - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

OH tops list of most threatened schools

A threatening phone call shut down Painesville Schools on Monday. (Source: WOIO) A threatening phone call shut down Painesville Schools on Monday. (Source: WOIO)
(WOIO) - Ohio schools are threatened with violence more than any other state. There have been more than 60 threats in the first half of the school year alone. 

On Monday, there was a threat in Painesville. This epidemic is breeding fear and anxiety and it's costing valuable instructional time, not to mention the cost of investigating these threats of bombs and shootings. 

In the last four months, Stow-Munroe Falls, Strongsville, Rhodes High School, North Canton Middle School, and the entire Wickliffe and Painesville districts have received threats. They forced evacuations and heightened security measures. 

Nationally, more than one-third of the threats are coming electronically. 

"A lot of the trendy apps, Yik Yak, After School, Whisper, social media that the kids are into now are being used in a positive way, but in many cases, in other ways," said school security expert Ken Trump.
 
Trump says schools need to better assess the credibility of the threat before unnecessarily evacuating, which results in losing instruction time, along with costly investigations.

"A threat that's written on a piece of toilet paper on a bathroom wall has a different credibility then when you find a student that has detailed plans, maps and has gone about collecting the weapons to carry out the threat," he explains.

Painesville Superintendent John Shephard says they take every threat seriously. 

"In order to do that, when a threat is initially made, we work with local authorities and we execute our plan and we have a safety plan," he said. 

Going forward, Trump suggests schools have a crisis communication and social media strategy in place to get accurate information out to calm parents, and aid prevention by better educating kids on the consequences of using things, like social media, to threaten their school. 

Learn more from the National School Safety and Security Services.

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