An Ohio high school canceled classes after 2 female teens, ages 14 and 15, reportedly threatened to ‘shoot up the school;’ An alleged plot inspired by ‘Pretty Little Liars’.
Police in Piqua, Ohio say two teenage girls, ages 14 and 15, have been arrested and charged in Juvenile Court for threats at Piqua High School, according to a press release from the Piqua Police Department [obtained by Piqua Daily Call]. The alleged threats — which police say appeared to be inspired by the thriller TV series, Pretty Little Liars — led to an early dismissal Thursday and the cancellation of classes Friday at Piqua High School. According to the press release, the 15-year-old female student created a Snapchat account with the username “A,” identical to the character “A” in the show; a villain who threatens to torture other characters on the show. The Snapchat user, as described by police, “was threatening to expose secrets of fellow students, and the alter-ego became widely known throughout the school.”
The press release contained the following information: A 15-year-old female student responsible for creating the “A” Snapchat account will be charged with disorderly conduct as a misdemeanor. A 14-year-old female student responsible for writing the threat from “A” to shoot the school is being charged with inducing panic as a felony. Piqua City Schools will continue to work and corporate with the Piqua Police Department as the investigation continues.
“Parents of students in Piqua City Schools should be very proud of how faculty and staff handled the dismissal and the decisions about student safety,” Chief of Police Bruce Jamison said of the incident. “These educators didn’t get into this field to handle situations like this, and yet they stepped up and did everything they needed to keep the kids safe.”
Superintendent of Piqua City Schools Dwayne Thompson also weighted in. “I was really proud of the Piqua High School staff. They remained calm and worked in tangent with the Piqua Police to keep students safe and orderly through this whole situation,” Thompson said in a statement via Piqua PD press released. “I appreciate their professionalism and ‘students first’ mentality.”
Read a shortened version of the Piqua Police Department press release below:
At some point, the false rumors about the snaps by “A” indicated there was a threat to shoot up the school.
We conducted an exhaustive investigation on Wednesday into those who had actually seen the snaps, and nobody saw any such threats. Our joint threat assessment with the school personnel placed the schools at “Low Risk” at this time.
Parents were notified and there was no disruption to the school schedule. We assigned officers specifically to Piqua High School in anticipation of increased anxiety. The superintendent and additional administrators maintained a presence at PHS on this day as well.
[Message on restroom mirror at the school] — Thursday morning, a non-threatening message was found on a mirror in a girls’ restroom. It had no apparent ties to Snapchat messages and may be nothing more than criminal mischief, but this is still under investigation.
This is not the type of damage we would normally place intense investigative resources into, but due to the other circumstances of the week, we are proceeding aggressively to try to identify the source and the intent of this message. Because of this ongoing investigation, we are not releasing the exact content at this time.
[Message on the restroom wall at the school] — Later on Thursday morning, a message was discovered on the wall inside a girls’ restroom stall. It read, “I’m still gonna shoot the school – A”, which we now known to be written by a 14-year old female student.
This was the first direct threat of violence to the school. At about the same time, two students came forward with a rumor of unknown origin that “the shooting” was going to occur around noon.
At this time, we determined that we lacked adequate time to complete a thorough threat assessment of these two new pieces of information. We also suspected that keeping the students together in this environment would lead to further embellishments based on the original false rumor that “A” had threatened to shoot. In retrospect, the school was still at “Low Risk,” but we did not have enough information to determine that at the time.
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