Threat concern puts Palestine on alert

EAST PALESTINE – The village high school was put on alert, but not lockdown, Wednesday morning after some parents called to report a student had made threats.

Superintendent George Fisk said concerned parents began calling to say a male student made threats of some kind, and school officials and the local resource officer immediately began investigating.

“At that time we didn’t know if it was against other students or the student himself. We initiated the procedures that we have in place and resolved the situation with the students. We never went into lockdown. It was a very smooth situation,” Fisk said.

The threats, the nature of which Fisk did not disclose, were reportedly made verbally, not through social media.

“The student had made some comments to their friends,” he said.

Those students in turn notified their parents, who then notified the school sometime before 10 a.m. Fisk said the situation was under control by around 11 a.m.

The student’s locker was searched as a safety protocol and nothing out of the ordinary was found, he added.

The local police department’s K9 unit was not dispatched to the school on West Grant Street.

Fisk did not disclose whether the student was sent home or remained at the school, and said whether his actions qualify for charges being filed against him has not been determined.

“We are still investigating we take them (threats) all seriously and act regardless,” he said.

High school principal Laura Griffiths remained in contact with East Palestine police, who provided resource officer Jordan Reynolds shortly after parents began calling.

Fisk visited each school building to speak with staff and other administrators during the process and an all-call was made to parents and guardians to keep them informed and address any concerns.

“We were thankful that the parents called in and gave us a heads-up on it. We handled it quick, it was a pretty quick resolution to the situation,” he said.

Fisk did not disclose the student’s grade level and Griffiths was unavailable for comment due to being in a previously scheduled meeting outside the district.

Fisk said the situation did not disrupt the regular class schedule. Students arrive at the building at 7:25 a.m., with regular dismissal at 2:25 p.m.