“When you hear it, you say it:” Local school district calls on community to be vigilant over threats to school



ELYRIA, Ohio (WJW) – Following a series of threats to the school, the Elyria City school district held a press conference on Monday afternoon.

One of the incidents that was discussed happened on December 5 and led to the arrest of a 13-year-old student at Westwood Middle School.

Investigators said the student used a Snapchat account on behalf of another child to create a rumor there would be a school shooting the next day. In response to the threat, there was a heavy police presence at the school until investigators determined that no student was in danger.

The student told Lorain County authorities his goal was to miss school. The 13-year-old, who told detectives he didn’t know his Snapchat post could be attributed to him, is accused of making terrorist threats, causing panic and aggravating him.

During the press conference, Superintendent Ann Schloss repeatedly said that students don’t really realize what they are doing and the effect they are having.

“We’ve heard that over and over again, ‘Well we thought it was funny, we wanted to be cool and do what the other kids were doing,’ and we’re here to tell you, we have to take it to the serious and it’s not funny, ”she said.

She explained that uninformed children think the threats they make on social media can’t be attributed to them when, in fact, they can.

“We found pretty much every student or individual who posted something that they shouldn’t have posted, so there are ways,” Schloss said. “You are not invisible.”

Elyria Mayor Frank Whitfield and Police Chief Bill Pelko, who were also present at the meeting, are taking a community-wide approach to raising awareness of the problem and seeking solutions.

Mayor Frank Whitfield said: ‘It’s unfortunate when we see it among the kids, but it’s not unique and I think we have to do our best, catch our breath and as a society try to do what we can to take care of our mental and emotional needs.

In response to the threats, Elyria police and school officials are urging parents to monitor their children’s social media accounts and online conversations more closely.

The district is asking parents to partner with them by reiterating the message “When you see it, you say it; When you hear it, you say it.


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