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'It’s affecting the entire community': 5 Tri-State school districts face threats in one week

Some added more security, one district canceled classes
Reading Community Schools Campus
Posted at 5:54 PM, Dec 09, 2021

READING, Ohio — Several Tri-State schools ramped up security this week after alleged student threats of violence.

Fairfield City Schools announced Tuesday it would have increased security through Dec. 10 after police received reports of a social media post threatening Fairfield Freshman School. The next day, Franklin City Schools announced an investigation into an alleged threat made against students and staff.

The Hamilton Police Department is investigating a social media post that warned of a threat to the district. Hamilton City Schools increased security Thursday in response to the alleged threat. Colerain High School originally told parents there was increased security Thursday, but later confirmed there was no threat.

One school district, Reading Community City Schools, canceled classes Thursday and announced increased security Friday after police arrested a student accused of making threats.

“It’s affecting the entire community,” said Joe Ellis, father of three children in RCCSD. "How do we overcome this, and how do we just get through this?"

WCPO 9News received the Hamilton County Juvenile Court records Thursday showing a written student statement accusing a 13-year-old boy of threatening to stab a classmate and shoot up the school.

“It kind of spread like wildfire through the kids,” Ellis said. “Until one of the parents actually said, ‘What's going on with your Snapchat,’ [that] is when it really truly came out.”

RELATED: Student in custody after alleged threat at Reading Community City Schools

Superintendent Jason Enix said once notified, his team made the decision to close campus before police arrested the student. Enix said parents will notice increased police presence on campus Friday.

“You layer this on top of, obviously, we're still within the pandemic and the pandemic response — so many of our students have been so disrupted over the past two years," Enix said. "I would add to that there's a toll on staff too, those who are charged with kids in the classroom."

In his district, security teams reviewed drills and building security and debriefed on the response. Enix sent a letter to parents with a link to help them prepare students to return to school.

“There’s going to be a wide variety of responses to this,” Enix said. “Especially, in light of the national events of last week, and it’s just really important to know there’s a whole lot of people whose first priority is the safety and wellbeing of our students.”

Ellis said he is ready to send his children back to school for some sense of normalcy.

“Get them back, you know? Even if it takes the entire day of having an assembly or something to talk about — hey, violence in the school is not good, we can’t have it. It's a zero-tolerance policy that we have,” said Ellis.

Counselors will be on hand to work with children who need extra support.

RELATED: Police: Milford Junior High student arrested over alleged 'kill list'
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