MAD RIVER TOWNSHIP – A delay in classes occurred at Greenon Junior/Senior High School for a second time following a threat on Wednesday, Oct. 28.
Mad River Township Sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Wise reported to trustees during Monday, Nov. 2 township meeting that a school custodian had discovered a threat, slated for Thursday, Oct. 29, scratched on a bathroom wall in the school late Wednesday. The school building was immediately swept for any explosive devices and cleared, Wise said.
“A drug sweep using drug-sniffing dogs had just been completed when we received the word that the threat had been discovered,” Wise said.
Wise told township trustees that school officials decided to conduct another sweep of the building Thursday morning as an additional safety measure because the threat specifically referred to Thursday as the day the incident would occur. Junior high and high school students were placed on a two-hour delay as the Dayton International Airport bomb squad performed the sweep and cleared the school.
“Buses unloaded students one bus at a time, and students’ backpacks and bags were checked as they entered the school,” Wise said. “Additional security remained on campus all day as well.”
The deputy said school officials worked closely with law enforcement and first responders throughout the ordeal. He noted that the threat was discovered one day after Mad River Township and Hustead first responders had met with two representatives from the Clark County Sheriff’s Department who conducted a countywide, tabletop exercise as part of the responders’ preparedness training.
According to Wise, school officials are taking extra measures to quickly identify any possible reoccurrences, and custodians are following a prodigal of checking and monitoring the school bathrooms on a regular basis.
Mad River Trustee Kathy Estep asked Wise if the bomb threats recently occurring at a number of schools in several counties were “copycat” incidents. Wise explained to Estep that law enforcement treat every incident seriously and would continue to take the necessary measures to protect the safety of the students and school staff. He noted that the threats are criminal, and those charged with the crime would be prosecuted.
The threat on Oct. 28 follows a similar threat which occurred on Oct. 5. At that time, the school was evacuated and searched while students were retained at the football field until the building was cleared. A 17-year-old who attended the high school was charged with inducing panic after investigators said the student sent herself a text message about an explosive device at the school. Wise also stated that local law enforcement has not arrested a suspect in connection to the Oct. 28 incident.
Deputy Wise also reported to township trustees that several township residents had filed a number of complaints during the past two weeks regarding vandalism, including the smashing of jack-o-lanterns and pumpkins.
In other areas of business, Mad River Township resident Loretta Lawrence expressed her appreciation to Wise for being a wonderful advocate of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The next regular session of the Mad River Township Trustees is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16 at the Enon/Mad River Township Fire and EMS Department, 260 E. Main St.
Linda Collins is a freelance reporter for Greene County News.