Teen Held After Threatening To Kill Classmates At Madison County School

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UPDATED: Thursday January 30, 2014 6:49 PM

A Madison County teenager is being held at a youth detention center, after authorities say he posted a threat on social media about killing his classmates.

It happened in Plain City, where the student attended Jonathan Alder High School on U.S. Highway 42.

Plain City police said the 15-year-old high school freshman posted the threat to his Twitter page at 6:46 p.m. Sunday evening.

The post read, "If we have school tomorrow, I'm bringing a gun and killing everyone."

Investigators said he removed the threat minutes later and then made several references about it being a joke. But it was already too late.

A classmate recorded an image of the post and showed her parents, who called police.

"It's not time for us to evaluate at that time whether or not that this is a substantial complaint or not," said Plain City Police Chief James Hill. "We have to respond to it and treat it as if it were."

When investigators arrived at the suspect's door at 8:30 p.m. that evening, they said he showed no emotion, insisting the threat was "just a joke."

They say they found no guns in the student's possession, but he was charged with inducing panic.

"So we will, and have, responded with the same intensity that we would in any other situation," said Jonathan Alder Local Schools Superintendent Gary Chapman. "Regardless if the individual is saying it's a joke or not, we have to respond, and we will respond."

Chapman said while the teen is facing criminal charges for making the threat, he's also facing disciplinary action at school. Action the parents we spoke with, agree on.

"I mean, I don't know... But I think any threat should be taken seriously," said Parent Melissa Hommon.

"They're pretty good out here. Very good out here about that stuff," Parent Sharon Mason added.

The 15-year-old suspect is currently being held at the Central Ohio Youth Center in Marysville.

Parents of Jonathan Alder High School students were informed of the incident via an automated phone message on Monday afternoon.

Meantime, the juvenile court judge has ordered the teen undergo additional testing and evaluation.

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