ELYRIA, Ohio — As the first half of the school year winds down, some schools across Ohio have seen an increase in threats of violence. One of those districts is the Elyria City School District.
“We’ve seen a huge increase this school year,” said Ann Schloss, Superintendent for Elyria City School District.
On Tuesday afternoon, police, school and city officials joined forces to confront the troubling trend head-on.
“I see today somewhat as a call to action for our community to step up our vigilance,” said Frank Whitfield, Elyria Mayor.
Schloss blames social media in part for the spike in threats of violence against schools.
“I know there are several social media platforms out there that tend to be the ones we see the most threat-based conversations are on, and that is TikTok and Snapchat,” Schloss explained.
Police said they are taking each threat very seriously, they investigate each one and, in most cases, police have tracked down the student or person involved.
“We got a complaint forwarded to us about 5:30 Sunday and by 7 o’clock we’re knocking at the door to track down these subjects,” said Sgt. Bill Lantz.
The group addressed the public with a plea for help Tuesday. After the holiday break, they will have assemblies for students to learn about the dangers of making these types of threats, including criminal charges.
“If there are criminal charges, we will pursue it against the student or adult,” said Chief Bill Pelko, Elyria Police Department.
Anyone with information about a treat to contact the Elyria City School District or the Elyria Police Department.
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