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Diamond Oaks clarifies confusion over lockdown, reports of threats

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Posted at 11:13 AM, Nov 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-13 16:38:42-05

CINCINNATI — Diamond Oaks Career Campus is clarifying confusion after reports of potential threats of violence on campus Friday morning.

The Green Township Police Department said the school was put on lockdown before noon due to threats of possible violence; however, Director of Community Relations for Great Oaks Career Campuses Jon Weidlich and police later confirmed there was never a lockdown or credible threat of violence.

Great Oaks Career Campuses said the confusion began with what they say was a disturbing social media post appearing to mock George Floyd's death. The district said it is working to confirm if the post came from students at Diamond Oaks Career Campus.

Still, the district said the post led to students participating in a Black Lives Matter protest Thursday. Then, another social media post popped up.

"There was a video of one of the kids who went around saying, you know, ''F' Black Lives Matter,'" said one student's aunt, Monique Booker.

The district is working to confirm who was responsible for the post, and said after rumors of clashing protests potentially breaking out Friday, administrators asked Green Township Police to add officers to campus.

In a statement on its department Facebook page, Green Township PD wrote: "Today our department has had extra officers on school property as a precaution at Diamond Oaks Career Campus. Rumors have been circulating about potential threats of violence. We have found no credible threats of violence and the school is not and has not been on lockdown. Anyone with knowledge of any credible threats of violence is asked to please notify our department."

So where did the confusion on lockdown come from?

Weidlich said students began texting their parents about being kept longer in their classrooms. Weidlich said this was not due to a lockdown, but because of staggered lunch times in order to keep students from having a walk-out.

"Students were staying in their labs and in their classrooms for longer than usual," Weidlich said. "It started sounding like they were being on lockdown in their rooms, but the reality was, they were released two or three labs at a time to be able to go to lunch in smaller groups."

He said many parents picked their children up from school, which was an option the school provided.

"When our lunch bell rings, we normally can go to lunch," student Gabrielle Ross said. "But [the teacher] told us we have to stay here no matter what, so that’s what we did. We went to the classroom, and people were calling their parents and they were leaving."

WCPO 9 is gathering more details about the concerning social media posts and hearing from parents and students.