GNADENHUTTEN — Indian Valley Local Schools will prosecute "to the fullest extent of the law" the person who wrote a threat on the wall of a bathroom stall at the high school in Gnadenhutten Monday morning.
All 475 students in the school were evacuated while a team from the Tuscarawas County Sheriff's Office, Gnadenhutten police and school administrators checked the building. Nothing was found, and the threat is likely a hoax.
This follows similar threats made in recent weeks at New Philadelphia High School and Tuscarawas Valley High School.
Superintendent Ira Wentworth said a detective from the sheriff's office was on site investigating the threat.
"Just as we take student safety seriously, we also take the fact that the school environment has been seriously disrupted," he said. "We look at this as a drain on taxpayer resources when considering the number of man hours and schedules disrupted today for a threat. We're motivated to pursue this to the fullest extent of the law."
The message on the bathroom wall threatened a shooting at 1 p.m.
At 12:50 p.m., Indian Valley posted the following message on its website:
"Every room, locker, backpack and bag has been checked in the entire high school. Everything is SAFE and SECURE. Students are back in the building and we are continuing to work with law enforcement to provide one extra layer of security in our investigation. A regular 3 p.m. dismissal is still planned. At this point, we do not foresee the need for additional updates. However, if something should change, we will definitely keep you informed. Thank you for your trust and knowing that we will always work diligently to the upmost degree to ensure the safety of your sons and daughters."
Parents were notified of the evacuation through an all-call.
Once students returned to the high school, Wentworth notified parents through an all-call, text messages and a posting on the district's website.
"We are very thankful and grateful for our community and our parents," the superintendent said. "I know in times like this they are greatly concerned, and that's understood. However, we did not have an outpouring of parents at the high school this morning that would have added a factor to control. We're extremely grateful and thankful for the trust they have in their school district."