Threat that evacuated school deemed ‘noncredible’

by Melissa Martin

Brecksville-Broadview Heights School District officials say a threat of violence that resulted in evacuation of the high school was officially deemed not credible, and students were never in harm’s way.

According to Broadview Heights Police, a middle school student reported to his teacher on the morning of April 14 that a disturbed high school student claimed he wanted to shoot something or someone. The school went into soft lockdown, which means classes continued with locked doors, while authorities searched the building for a student matching the description provided by the middle schooler. No such student was found, police said.

Administrators ultimately decided to evacuate the school out of extreme caution. Students who drove to school were released first, followed by the remainder of the student body, who were transported by school bus.

The school reopened later that day for after-school activities and for students to access their belongings before the weekend.

Though the schools share the same campus, the middle school was never evacuated.

Superintendent Joelle Magyar sent an email to parents later that day saying the high school had been thoroughly searched and was determined to be safe.

“At no time were students at Brecksville-Broadview Heights middle or elementary schools at any risk or in danger,” she said.

Magyar also noted that the district must treat all allegations of a threat with the utmost seriousness.

“This safety-first and at-all-cost approach prompted our dismissal of the building, she said.

This was the second time in less than five months the high school has been affected by threats. In December, police arrested a high school sophomore for allegedly threatening students at school. The boy, police said, sent his friends a list of other students at school with whom he had problems.

That Dec. 7 incident was reported through the district’s STOPit app, which allows anonymous reporting of possible threats or misconduct. The student was taken into custody before the start of the school day and classroom instruction was never interrupted. However, an increased police presence on the campus was continued throughout the week. ∞