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14-year-old boy charged, suspended after trying to set off glue stick explosive at Akron high school

Posted: 4:20 PM, Nov 22, 2016
Updated: 2016-11-22 16:20:24-05

A 14-year-old boy is facing a charge of inducing panic after he allegedly tried to set off an explosive that was hidden in a glue stick at North High School in Akron.

The incident happened on October 12 and led to panic and the evacuation of a classroom.

According to police, a large firecracker-- possibly an M-80-- was carved into the glue stick and a freshman tossed the smoking school supply towards a teacher's desk.

Students fled the classroom, but the explosive did not detonate because the flame on the wick diffused.

"We are fortunate. Sometimes you're fortunate. In this case, it didn't explode," said Mark Williamson, spokesman for the Akron Public Schools.

According to the police report, officers found a note on the explosive that included a teacher's name, along with the words, "You will pay" and "School Shooter."

In addition, police discovered statements on the teen's Facebook page that threatened to kill the teacher and bring "a grenade to school and blow it up."

Williamson said the boy was upset at the teacher for giving him an in-school suspension a day earlier. He also said preventing something like a firecracker from getting into a school is difficult. The district stressed students should report anything they see or hear that could be suspicious.

"We stop more things than people would ever know. It's not an unusual occurrence to have kids come to school in some emotional distress," he said.

APS did not call parents or send home letters after the close call with the explosive in the classroom, which concerned some students who were not aware of the incident.

"I think that parents should have been notified definitely and I think students should know what's going on in their school," said Margaret Wright, a junior at the school.

Williamson said the decision on whether to notify parents was a judgment call.

"If it's a school-wide situation where we lock the building, we automatically do a call to every home affected and we sent a letter home with every student," he said.

The suspect was suspended for 10 days and is no longer a student at North High School. Williamson said he's now in a program with "the most restrictive form of discipline."

He's scheduled to have a hearing in Summit County Juvenile Court on December 7.