Western Reserve school boss 'confident' report about student's threat was timely

Boy told teacher and classmates he would retrieve an AK-47 assault rifle from home, return to school and kill them.
Cary Ashby
Dec 21, 2013

"We wanted to make sure what we were told about what happened really happened."

That's how Western Reserve Local Schools Superintendent Rodge Wilson explained the delay in reporting the allegation of a 14-year-old high school student who threatened to kill a teacher and several students. Tuesday's incident, which remains under investigation by the Huron County Sheriff's Office, wasn't reported until 2 p.m. Thursday.

"My understanding is this (incident) happened late in the day Tuesday," Wilson told the Reflector on Friday.

By the time of the incident, Wilson said "most of the kids were all gone" from the high and middle schools. Those students are housed in the same building.

The boy told his teacher and classmates he would retrieve an AK-47 assault rifle from his residence, return to the school and kill them, Chief Deputy Ted Patrick said.

"I was not aware of any particular person being threatened," Wilson said Friday.

The boy told authorities he was being bullied by other students at school. Wilson said he believes the suspect was expressing frustration or what has happened to him in the past.

At a detention hearing Friday in Huron County Juvenile Court, the boy formally was charged with aggravated menacing. He was returned to the Seneca County youth detention center pending the results of a court-ordered psychological evaluation.

Wilson said school officials spent Wednesday working with "two related agencies" and the boy's guardian. The superintendent declined to identify the agencies.

Since school officials often get false reports, he said Western was gathering as much information as possible on Tuesday's incident before reporting it to law enforcement.

"The sheriff's office was called Thursday morning," Wilson said.

Wilson was asked who made the decision not to notify the sheriff's office immediately. The superintendent paused, but didn't provide the person's name.

Wilson was asked if an administrator could be disciplined in connection with failing to report Tuesday's incident in a timely fashion. According to the Ohio Revised Code, teachers, staff and administration are required to report crimes to law enforcement.

"At this time, I have no reason to believe the incident was not dealt with in a timely manner and school officials were working to ensure the safety of that student and the students of Western Reserve. I am confident of that," Wilson said.

"The safety of the student and the district students is primary and we have worked with this student for weeks now," he said.

Wilson was asked if the Wakeman boy has had behavioral or psychological issues.

"I'm not at liberty to discuss the specifics of the student," he said.

However, Wilson said he was notified the boy received a 10-day suspension "with an intent to expel (him)."

"We are acting on our board policies. We are working all related agencies to ensure the safety of all out students and the student involved," the superintendent said.

Per school board policy, Wilson said he is required to release a list of resources to students who are being suspended or expelled "because disciplining should be about helping the student." Those resources include information about parenting classes, social services, mental health, substance abuse and children services.

Wilson was asked about the mood and atmosphere at Western Reserve in light of Tuesday's incident.

"I don't believe the atmosphere at Western is elevated. I don't think the teachers and students feel an elevated sense of risk other then the new reality we're living in with school violence issues," he said.

Comments

Stonybaby

"At this time, I have no reason to believe the incident was not dealt with in a timely manner and school officials were working to ensure the safety of that student and the students of Western Reserve. Seems a little fishy to me. The no reason to believe, sounds like words used to cover up if you ask me. Pray the kids are safe. And the bull crap about not reporting stops.

Uputwhatwhere7

Is he stupid? As a man trained in such situations, this child should have been detained immediately and the sheriffs department notified on the spot. The officials showed absolutely no concern for our children in light of the many school shootings that have occurred in theses times. Every one of them should be terminated as they have ALL been trained how to react in these situations. Disappointed and alarmed at the incompetence.

AEversole

Originally it said he was charged with inducing a panic?.. this all bull. If you (Wilson) and staff were so worried about his and the other students/staffs well being why did you waite so long. This shows me that you never were ligitamitly scared or even took him seriously. When a person is scared that a student is going to kill people they take immediate action. And now your acting like you were taking steps to prevent this. What a load of sh#$. This kid was upset and running off at the mouth. No one believed him and no one thought it was a real threat. Now with the community knowing and with past school tragedies where the ball was drooped you are trying to step up like you are doing the right thing. Wilson, you are a total joke.... these charges are chilled io and bogus. Bet none if it sticks. Your stupid and I wonder how such incompetent people get these positions

AEversole

Chumped bogus charges... none of it will hold weight in court. It is a waste of money and time... two days later you are acting like his threat was ligit. Get real..if I thought a kid was going to slaughter my students and staff I would have had the cops at school on Tuesday at 2 :05. .... you knew the kid was talking crap. Now your singing a whole new tune to save your Butts. Act like men, and admitted when your making poor choices

AEversole

Scandels, cover ups, and politics. All of you idiots are the same.

sorryhog

What did they do to the persons bulling the student?

former local

EXACTLY!!!!!!! Why does no one mention that??????

I Can Read

A few very bad kids across our country have created a society that is no longer tolerant of the stupid things kids do and say. We forget they are kids and we charge them with felonies and lock them up. Parents need to be held responsible for what a 14 year old is up to. Lock up a few parents and maybe the rest will start teaching their kids right from wrong. If a kid is bullying then again the parents should be held responsible, not the 14 year old, they only emulate what they have been taught.

OHIOHOOSIER76

There have been 293 school shootings in this country and this guy was willing to take 'a chance', seems like cause for termination.

It isn't about gun control either, it's about handling things the right way.

I Can Read

What time frame did these shootings occur? There are 132,183 public and private grade school and high schools in the U.S. So even if 293 shootings happened in 1 year that would work out to 0.002% chance of a shooting at each school. Very low odds. If you look back at all the recent school shootings, how many of the shooters threatened to do it first? The kid spoke because he was frustrated and now he will be expelled and charged with a felony and it sounds like it's what everyone here wants.

OHIOHOOSIER76

I understand the odds are low. The 293 figure is from over the history of this country.

My niece is a student at WR, I'm not pleased that the school admin took the chance that he was 'bluffing'. In this day and age, especially when it comes to school shootings or threats, you have to act immediately.

Uputwhatwhere7

Low? Any low percentage odd is still too high for our children. A threat was made. That's enough.

Fibber Mcgee

Wilson, you dropped the ball on this one. Stop trying to talk your way out of it. You should have reported it to the HCSO.

Rodger the Dodger

Well, when your kids don't go to school in the district and you don't live in the district do you really care how fast reports are made? It's more important to look good and have everyone think you're doing a bang up job than it is to keep kids safe. He's always been full of BS! Parents and employees should be outraged they had to read it online in order to get the proper information! Way to look out for the safety of your kids WR administration!!! You should be proud of yourselves. Wonder if they could have lived with themselves if something really had happened???

brutalyhonest

Absolutely should have been reported Immediatly...Just cause for termination here...Because he did not report it Immediatly, he actually put alot of other Students, and staff in danger...Don't even second guess this WR.

matt radcliffe

What investigation skills do school employees have or been trained for?none it came out of the kids mouth end of story he broke the law call the police. The kid might of been talking in anger cause no one will do anything about bullying but the police should of been called immediately

matt radcliffe

Let's just wait to see if he's serious come on everyone involved should lose their job and have charges brought against them

I Can Read

In order to induce a panic I believe someone would have needed to panic. Doesn't sound like that was the case.

AEversole

Totally right I can read... no panic, no evacuation, the school obviously didn't feel paniced or threatened and that is why this kid will win in court... should he have been punished .. yeah, but the ball was drooped here and now the school is trying to sugar coat it and cover up their errors. This kid should not get expelled or charged. Punished yea, but everyone of us at sometime in our life has been mad enough and made a false threat and we didn't go to jail. The school obviously didn't take him serious, no students or staff stormed for the exits fearing for their lives. It is what it is, a mad kid blabbing off because he was angry....WR dropped the ball and Wilson ha handeled this a?# backwards

Sitting In The ...

The fact they waited two days to report the threats is a total and complete failure on part of the school. With all the school shootings in the last decade to do nothing for a full 48 hours is unacceptable.

plane67

Report incidents when they happen and let the proper authorities handle it. Why take a chance. Why risk everyone's safety when you can avoid it.

armbender

There is no shade of grey here. A student making a threat like that needs to be taken seriously. This is obsurd! It should have been reported immediately. The school board needs to act on this as well. There should be alot of job openings at Western Reserve!

humpty_dumpty

this man should be fired. far as the idiots defending this punk kid would you have been defending him if he had shot other kids? FACT is the school not notifying the sherriff right away COULD HAVE COST KIDS AND TEACHERS THERE LIFE!!! throw the punk kid away and fire this man!!!!!!

Windy

The school is in a no-win situation here. If they call the police right away and the kid was only spouting off, the kid's parents slap the school with a lawsuit. If the school waits to call the police to make sure that the kid was not just blowing smoke, they get slapped in the media.

Stonybaby

Disagree this is not the place to worry about a law suit. Too many lives are at stake. Be wrong and call the cops all day, if one kid makes good on a threat of this magnitude everyone loses. This is not the time to worry about anything but the safety of the children and staff. Call the cops!

JACKEL

I don't know why we even bother making laws. If they aren't enforced why waste the time.It is the same in D.C.We have laws covering everything going on such as gun control and Aliens.If you do the crime you do the time .You can't have grey areas on safety issues !

DOWNinUPTOWN

Just plain pathetic! I remember back in the day when Norwalk high school was being plagued with bomb threats...did they wait 48 hours to do something about it? NO! They evacuated everyone from the school and made us stand on the sidewalk across the street from the school as soon as the threat was made. I guess nowadays these principals/teachers just dont give a dam about our kids anymore. This definately needs fixed ASAP!! Put some people in there place who actually care about the students i'll bet the bullying factor will get taken care of then.

bizzmachine1965

the people who read this are smart enough to do his job better than him.i think they should fire them all and replace them,these people are supposed to keep your kids save? their all a joke!!!!!!!!!!!

earlduck

maybe this kid is a foster kid who has been shoved around all his life and the schools were trying to give him a long deserved break knowing he didn't have access to an ak 47.
I mean that i can see both sides,i raised 2 good kids through schools and I know the fears as well

mikeylikesit's picture
mikeylikesit

looks like roy munson..