Worthington News

Thomas Worthington High School

Jan. 28 lockdown followed report of girl grabbed in hallway


A female student reported was accosted by a boy she did not recognize in the hallways of Thomas Worthington High School on Jan. 28.

At 9:20 a.m., the girl was in the foreign-language hallway on the first floor when the unidentified male grabbed her from behind, she reported. She then turned around and punched him in the face, she said.

There were no witnesses.

The girl reported the assault to the student-services offices. Police were called, and the high school, Kilbourne Middle School and Evening Street Elementary School went into a Level 1 lockdown for the remainder of the day.

No additional doors are locked during Level 1, but everyone was asked to heighten their level of awareness.

The school district’s email system was not working Jan. 28, making it difficult to communicate with parents and the public. Usually in such situations, parents receive an email alert to inform them of the situation.

To add to the confusion, some students texted or emailed parents, who spread alarming messages throughout the community, district spokesperson Vicki Gnezda said.

The email system was re-established at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28.

School officials assume the assailant was a student but don’t know for sure. They had planned to review surveillance tapes from the parking lots to see if anyone seemed out of place.

Only parking lots at the high schools are covered by surveillance cameras. Using more such cameras is one of the options under consideration by the district’s safety and security committee.