CLARKSVILLE — In what has become an almost daily occurrence, there was a threat followed by evacuation Thursday at Clinton-Massie schools. This is the fourth time in the past five school days — and the third consecutive day — of such incidents.
However, police say one teen has been arrested and another juvenile identified responsible for two of the four incidents.
According to the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, a 9-year-old student confessed to leaving a threatening note Tuesday, when the elementary school was safely evacuated due to a threat left in a restroom that was discovered mid-afternoon.
“The case will be forwarded to the Clinton County Prosecutor’s Office for further review and possible charges,” according to a statement from the office of Clinton County Sheriff Ralph D. Fizer Jr.
Wednesday, the high school and middle school were safely evacuated to the high school football field after a threatening note was found in a high school restroom.
For Wednesday’s threat, a 15-year-old student “has been arrested in connection to this incident for inducing panic in a school building, which is a 2nd-degree felony,” according to the sheriff. “The suspect is currently being held in Juvenile Detention.”
When the school was clear after Wednesday’s incident, the students assembled in the gymnasium where Superintendent Matt Baker spoke to them about the severity of this situation and how they may have to make up for the lost class time at a later date.
Thursday there was a threat — once again via a note left in a restroom — followed by students safely evacuated at Clinton-Massie Elementary School, according to Col. Brian Prickett of the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office. He said he didn’t think the threat was legitimate, but again the school exercised caution and followed procedures.
“I don’t know if they think they’ll get out of school early or what,” Prickett said. “It baffles me what somebody’s thinking.”
Students were evacuated to a secure location after a note was discovered Thursday. According to Baker, due to there being additional law enforcement authorities on hand, they were able to search and clear the school of threats in 45 minutes.
Baker said he appreciates the patience and understanding of the parents while they handle the situation and as they take precautions while investigations continue.
Baker said school staff are undertaking some measures to stop the threats.
“The high school and middle school are going to limit to using on set of restrooms,” said Baker, “and with the elementary school, we’re going to have guidance from teachers so we know who goes in and out.”
Last Friday, the elementary school was placed on lockdown and the middle school and high school evacuated when a threat was written on a restroom wall. Anyone with information on that is asked to contact the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office or provide an anonymous tip at www.clintonsheriff.com.
One-call confusion Thursday
Not all parents may have received the initial “one call” Thursday regarding the evacuation “because of the short amount of time between the first call and the second call,” according to Diana Miller, communications coordinator. She said as soon as the second call was launched, the first call was overridden by the second call.
“We apologize for any inconvenience and/or confusion this might have caused,” she stated.
Some people have organized a community prayer “for our school leaders, teachers, staff, parents, students, and law enforcement” on Friday morning.
Pastor Ryan Crystal Hysell will lead those attending in prayer at 7:10 a.m. in front of middle/high school and beginning at 8:20 a.m. in front of elementary school. Everyone is welcome to attend.