BELLVILLE, OH (WOIO) - The Richland County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a reported shooting threat that targeted a high school prom, to retaliate against a racist poster made by a student asking for a date.
Richland County authorities were first contacted by the Clear Fork Local Schools superintendent about the apparent threat on Friday morning.
A middle school principal was told by a sixth grade boy’s mother that he overheard a student on Thursday say that there was going to be a shooting at the upcoming prom in response to the racist “promposal” sign that sparked outrage on social media.
The poster, which was made by a student at the vocational school Knox Career Center, stated in reference to African-Americans picking cotton: “If I was black I’d be picking cotton but I’m white so I’m picking U for prom.”
Clear Fork Middle School was placed on lockdown by the superintendent as a precautionary measure while deputies investigated.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Office said the sixth grader was not able to identify the student who suggested that there was a plan for a shooting at prom.
The student who made the poster is banned from prom. Superintendent Janice Wyckoff says the student has received death threats, so he’s left the state with his family for safety reasons.
Superintendent Wyckoff also tells 19 News she’s hired extra security for the prom, which will not be held at the high school.