PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Pickerington Local School District canceled all Friday classes following a parent suicide at Ridgeview Junior High School Thursday morning.
Pickerington Police Chief Tod Cheney said they were notified by school administration of a possible criminal act that was committed by a stepfather. The alleged act did not occur on school property, Cheney said.
A responding detective went into the school office to speak with the stepfather and the two had a brief conversation before the man produced a handgun and took his own life, according to Cheney.
The district will be providing counseling support for students, families and staff Friday at the Pickerington Central gymnasium from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
There will also be no classes on Monday and Tuesday due to previously scheduled teacher work days.
In a message to district parents, the district also encouraged them to discuss the incident with their children.
The superintendent of the school district released the following statement:
"Pickerington is a tight knit community and today we demonstrated how we come together as a family and support each other in times of need.
Pickerington Local School District consistently practices security protocols to protect our staff and students, in addition to coordinating Emergency plans with local law enforcement and first responders.
Unfortunately, a step-parent committed suicide in front of a Pickerington Police Department detective while being interviewed for a possible criminal act. This occurred inside a closed office and no students or staff witnessed the tragic incident.
I want to thank our families, staff, students, first responders, and surrounding school districts for their support during this difficult time. We realize that even though no students and staff witnessed this event, there may be a need for counselors to address the emotional needs of our PLSD families.
Please know that counseling support for students, families and staff will be available tomorrow at Pickerington High School Central in the gymnasium from 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Expanded counseling support will be available as needed.
In light of the severity of this tragic incident all classes in Pickerington Local School District will be canceled tomorrow, Friday, February 3, 2023. Families, please use this time to talk with your children to help them process the events of today.
Our hearts are saddened for the family, staff, and students at Ridgeview STEM Junior High."