XENIA — A Xenia teenager was charged with inducing panic Feb. 4 after allegedly threatening to come to Xenia High School with a gun.
The male, who is not being named because he is a juvenile, allegedly made the threat on social media and a concerned parent alerted school officials according to police, who received the call around 7:05 a.m. The district was locked down while police searched for the suspect and classes were ultimately cancelled at the high school and at the elementary schools.
High school students were bused to nearby Faith Community United Methodist Church. Drivers were taken back to the high school and released. Walkers and those driven to school by parents were picked up at the church, according to school officials. Warner Middle School remained open and district after-school activities went on as planned.
“We immediately initiated our emergency management plan,” Superintendent Dr. Gabe Lofton said. “The student in question was not at the high school however, for safety precautions we moved forward with initiating appropriate safety measures. I am proud of our staff and community for reacting appropriately and swiftly to the situation to keep our students safe.
Additionally, the Xenia Police Department and other law enforcement agencies responded accordingly and were extremely helpful. As always, we will continue to be diligent about our response to potential safety concerns, and take these issues extremely serious.”
The suspect was taken into custody in the Arrowhead subdivision without incident, according to police.
“The school was never actually (in) any danger,” Police Capt. Alonzo Wilson said. “We were able to clear the school to make sure our suspect was not on the premises. We were able to put out a One Call as soon as we possible could. The school did a great job initiating their emergency response plan.”
Everything was calm inside the building, according to XHS junior Jordyn Thomas.
“We went through a lot of the safety procedures we had practiced during the lockdown,” she said. “It was very scary but keeping a smart and positive mindset helped a lot. The halls were empty and the teachers were doing everything they could to keep us updated. I believe the school handled it in the best way possible considering the situation.”
The suspect is currently incarcerated at the Greene County Juvenile Detention. Wilson said it is a violation of law to just make a threat on social media.
“Students need to realize the statements they make on social media, it’s real,” he said. “If they’re just seeking some attention, they want to make a threat on social media, we take that serious.”
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.