OHIO — Multiple law enforcement agencies across the state responded to what were found to be hoax reports of active shooters in schools.
The Ohio School Safety Center reported it was made aware of active shooter threats made to schools across Ohio, following a trend seen across the U.S. during the past week. The OSSC said it was actively working with the Statewide Terrorism Analysis and Crime Center, as well as schools and local law enforcement, to support efforts in investigation of the threats.
While some threats were determined to be false through law enforcement investigation, the OSSC reported it takes all threats to schools seriously and recommends schools and first responders do the same.
The OSSC encourages schools to communicate with students, staff and community members how to report threats and concerns of safety through the school’s anonymous reporting system, directly to local law enforcement or through the use of the state’s Safer Ohio School Tip Line at 844-723-3764.
Schools involved in the hoax active shooter calls included:
Licking Valley schools (Newark, OH)
Licking County Sheriff Randy Thorp said his department and other area law enforcement agencies responded to a report of an active shooter at Licking Valley Schools.
He said protocol of sweeping the buildings, which led to the securing of the facilities and finding no evidence of shots being fired.
At 12:58 p.m., Thorp tweeted students were being returned to their respective buildings where they could be released to their parents.
According to Spectrum news partner The Dispatch, an officer reported one male was detained Friday around 11:20 a.m. Officers reported a parent responded to the scene with a firearm. It is unknown whether the person detained is connected.
Findlay High School (Findlay, OH)
The Findlay Police Department reported "a large police presence at the Findlay High School on the report of an active shooter."
FPD said via social media, officers cleared the building and confirmed the incident as a false alarm, but officers remained on the scene.
Catholic Central High School (Springfield, OH)
The Springfield Police Department received a call regarding an active shooter at Catholic Central High School, which was later determined to be false.
Although there was seemingly no threat, Springfield police officers remained on the scene.
Catholic Central High School did not close, however, parents were allowed to pick up their children at Shamrock Bowling Alley.
Students who remained at school would receive normal dismissal from the schoool Friday afternoon.
Princeton High School (Cincinnati, OH)
The Sharonville Police Department led a team of multiple law enforcement agencies, including Hamilton County Sheriff Department, in a response to a report of an active shooter at Princeton High School on Friday morning.
Sharonville police dispatchers received a call at 10:12 a.m. reporting an active shooter, and later received word it was a hoax.
Parents of students at Princeton High School were told they could pick their children up at Vineyard Church, which is near the high school.
Sharonville police were leading the investigation.
Belmont High School (Dayton, OH)
According to the Dayton Public Schools Public Information Office, Belmont High School entered a lockdown at approximately 10:35 a.m. after a prank call to police alleged there was an active shooter situation.
Police responded to Belmont shortly after the call came in. All students and staff were deemed safe, and no threatening incident occurred at the school.
Authorities believed it was a hoax and reported the prank call also came in about other schools.
“The safety of staff and students is our utmost priority,” the district said in a news release. “Parents can expect to receive more detailed information about this situation later [Friday].”
The district announced the Belmont homecoming game and dance are still occurring as scheduled.
Scott High School (Toledo, OH)
The Toledo Police Department responded to a report of an active shooter at Scott High School on Friday morning. At 12:45 p.m., the department tweeted there was no active shooter and at 1:16 p.m. tweeted, “The scene is secure - There is no threat.”
Scott students returned to classes for the day.
The department referenced “several false calls” made the same day in Ohio. Police asked motorists to use alternate routes during the investigation.
Garfield Community Learning Center (Akron, OH)
Akron’s Garfield Community Learning Center was the site of one of several hoax school threats called in across Ohio on Friday.
According to Spectrum News partner, the Akron Beacon-Journal, Akron Police Lt. Michael Miller called it a “hoax/swatting-type call.”