Pickerington Times-Sun

Update

Pickerington students escorted safely from buildings following threat

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Fairfield County sheriff's deputies and Pickerington police officers this afternoon (Wednesday, Aug. 27) escorted Pickerington Local School District students out of school buildings following a late morning threat.

PLSD schools students began exiting classes today under security provided by the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office and the Pickerington Police Department after an unknown caller threatened to come to Pickerington High School North on Aug. 27 and shoot students.

The buildings had been on lockdown since about 11:30 a.m.

Sheriff Dave Phalen said PHS North received a call about 11:15 a.m. Wednesday from an individual with a “heavy accent” who sounded like an adult.

The person identified his first name as “Mohammed” and Phalen said the last name given “sounded something like Jihad.”

“He indicated he was upset about what was going on in Israel and he was going to come to the school and shoot some kids,” Phalen said. “He indicated he lived in the area and he had an assault weapon.”

Each PLSD school building was placed on lockdown after the threat. No one was permitted to enter or exit the buildings, and afternoon kindergarten classes were canceled, according to PLSD Superintendent Valerie Browning-Thompson.

“Please be assured that all students are safe,” she said in a statement.

Phalen said his office was taking the threat seriously but noted he suspected the call was a hoax.

“Historically, they always are,” he said. “I’ve been in service more than 40 years and responded to hundreds of threats, and I’ve never had one that’s legitimate.”

Anyone with information about the threat should call the sheriff's office at 740-652-7900 or the Pickerington Police Department at 614-575-6911.

“We’re trying to track down leads,” Phalen said.

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Deputies, police to assist exit of students following threat

Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen said Wednesday, Aug. 27, that law-enforcement officers would be on guard as Pickerington Local School District students exited classes following a telephone threat.

PLSD schools students began exiting classes today under security provided by the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office and the Pickerington Police Department after an unknown caller threatened to come to Pickerington High School North on Aug. 27 and shoot students.

“They’re going to be on lockdown the rest of the day,” Phalen said at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27. “We will make sure (students) get out of the schools safely. We’ll have deputies there when they get out of school and get them onto buses safely. We’re also being assisted by Pickerington police.”

Phalen said PHS North received a call about 11:15 a.m. Wednesday from an individual with a “heavy accent” who sounded like an adult.

The person identified his first name as “Mohammed” and Phalen said the last name given “sounded something like Jihad.”

“He indicated he was upset about what was going on in Israel and he was going to come to the school and shoot some kids,” Phalen said. “He indicated he lived in the area and he had an assault weapon.”

Each PLSD school building was placed on lockdown after the threat. No one was permitted to enter or exit the buildings, and afternoon kindergarten classes were canceled, according to PLSD Superintendent Valerie Browning-Thompson.

“Please be assured that all students are safe,” she said in a statement.

Phalen said his office was taking the threat seriously but noted he suspected the call was a hoax.

“Historically, they always are,” he said. “I’ve been in service more than 40 years and responded to hundreds of threats, and I’ve never had one that’s legitimate.”

Regardless, Phalen said, students would be guarded on their ways out of school, and his office was working to determine who made the call.

“We’re trying to track down leads,” he said.

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Pickerington schools on lockdown after phone threat

Pickerington Local School District Superintendent Valerie Browning-Thompson confirmed Wednesday afternoon Pickerington schools are being locked down after a threat was phoned into Pickerington High School North.

Each of the school buildings in the district was placed on lockdown about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27, after the undisclosed phone threat was received, according to Browning-Thompson.

No one is permitted to exit or enter the school buildings during the lockdown, according to a press release issued by the district at 12:40 p.m.

Additionally, Browning-Thompson also said afternoon kindergarten classes had been canceled Wednesday because of a bus schedule delay created by the lockdown.

"Please do not go to your child's school at this time," Browning-Thompson said. "Kindergarten drop-off is delayed."

Deputies from the Fairfield County Sheriff's Office and officers from the Pickerington Police Department were on the scene at North and at buildings throughout the district, Browning-Thompson said.

"Please be assured that all students are safe."

No other information was available.

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