Madison-Plains investigates multiple threats

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(Posted Nov. 1, 2018)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Over the course of 12 days, four threatening messages were found written on school property at Madison-Plains Local Schools. District leaders are working to resolve the incidences and put a stop to the threats.

“They are both scary and frustrating, and no one wants them to stop more than I do, which is why we are doing everything we can to investigate, figure out who is doing this, see that strong consequences are given, and do our best to try to get this to stop,” said Chad Eisler, Madison-Plains superintendent, in a statement to parents, students and staff following the third incident.

The first message, a bomb threat written on the arm of a chair at the high school, was found on the afternoon of Oct. 15. Grades 7-12 were evacuated to the football field while the Madison County Sheriff’s Office searched the building.

The second and third threats came on Oct. 24. In the morning, the message “At 1:59 school dies” was found written on a boys’ restroom wall at the high school. Because the message was not specifically a bomb threat, students and staff were instructed to shelter in place. Movement in the building resumed after law enforcement and staff found nothing suspicious in the building.

In the afternoon of Oct. 24, a bomb threat was found written on a girls’ restroom wall at the junior high. Students were evacuated to the football field. All evening activities were cancelled or postponed.

The fourth threat was found on the afternoon of Oct. 26 on a restroom wall in the grades K-6 building. The incident was resolved quickly; a student admitted he wrote the message and that it was a hoax.

As of Oct. 29, two students have received disciplinary consequences, and the district continues to investigate the unresolved threats.

The district’s course of action includes cooperating with law enforcement officials on criminal investigation and safety matters. The district has increased monitoring of all buildings throughout the school day. Additionally, school leaders held an all-students meeting at the junior high and high school to explain the seriousness of the events and the disciplinary consequences students could face for making such threats.

“The safety and well-being of our students and staff is our top priority. We continue to investigate the remaining two messages that were found in the restrooms to determine who wrote them and to assign appropriate disciplinary consequences to the students who have done this,” Eisler said. “While we certainly hope this stops, we will continue to take all messages of this type seriously and respond appropriately.”

The district faced similar issues last spring when several threatening messages were found in school restrooms.

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