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Southern Local closed after threat

SALINEVILLE — Southern Local was closed unexpectedly Wednesday following a threat believed to have been made by a student or students.

Superintendent Tom Cunningham said the threat had been posted on a school platform and with the help of teachers, the technology director and principals, they were able to determine where the person or persons were who were responsible.

The county sheriff’s office assisted in investigating on Wednesday, including interviewing those believed involved. Cunningham said at this point the sheriff’s office does not believe the student or students actually had the means to carry out the written threat.

“It’s one of those student pranks gone wrong,” Cunningham said, adding any charges filed will come concluding the sheriff’s investigation. However, the school, per policy, will seek expulsion for any student or students involved.

“This impacts so many people,” Cunningham said. “Not just the fear it causes, but the inconvenience. We’re doing testing this week. We’ve had enough interruptions to this school year already. We cannot tolerate this.”

According to Cunningham, the elementary school principals learned of the threat late Tuesday night. While the school board was meeting in an executive session until about 10 p.m., the school administrators became aware a threat had been made.

At that late hour, Cunningham said, he did not want to send out a school all-call in order to inform parents and guardians of the need to close, so he posted it to the school’s social media and the call went out at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday.

All athletic activities on Wednesday night were already scheduled to be away and were not canceled. School is expected to reopen today.

Sheriff Brian McLaughlin and Cunningham both indicated deputies will be on hand on this morning when the school reopens. Cunningham indicated deputies will be there mostly to reassure everyone.

McLaughlin said the matter remains under investigation and multiple deputies were involved in investigating the threat on Wednesday.

djohnson@mojonews.com

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