A Groveport Madison middle school student was in custody Feb. 27 after Madison Township police say he posted photos of guns and threats affecting district buildings on social media.
District officials announced the closing of all its schools early that morning.
"There was enough to cause concern," said Jeff Warner, spokesman for the Groveport Madison district. "It gave (police) the time they needed to close their investigation."
Police found no gun or means for the student to carry out the threat.
But Madison Township police Chief Gary York has a message for students thinking about posting similar messages on social media.
"If you're going to make these kinds of threats, we will find you. We will arrest you," York said. "We will charge you with the highest degree the law will allow. We will lock you up."
York was up at 2:30 a.m. Feb. 27 with interim Superintendent John Hurd evaluating the student's post.
"It was a hard decision for him to make to cancel school," York said. "It wasn't something taken lightly."
Canceling classes gave detectives time to trace the post back to its source and get a search warrant to find the student responsible, he said.
The student, who is enrolled at Middle School North, faces a second-degree felony charge of inducing panic.
The Groveport Madison incident was just one of several in central Ohio since the Feb. 14 shootings in Parkland, Florida.
Others have been reported involving Beechcroft High School and Eastmoor Academy in the Columbus City Schools, plus Hilliard Darby and Westerville South high schools.
Dublin police arrested a 17-year-old Dublin Coffman High School student Feb. 27 on first-degree misdemeanor charges of aggravated menacing and making false alarms after an anonymous tip indicated he made comments about shooting other students.
Police determined that there was no immediate threat and that no students or school faced danger, according to a released statement.
Incidents at three other schools drew police attention March 1:
* Genoa Township police arrested a 16-year-old Westerville Central High School student for allegedly exchanging text messages threatening violent acts against himself, students and police. Initial charges against him include inducing panic, a second-degree felony, and making false alarms, a first-degree misdemeanor, according to the township.
* Classes at Pickerington High School North were canceled after what was believed to be a bomb threat at the school. Wires were seen hanging out of a student's locker and there was a bad smell in the area. The district posted a message on social media shortly after 11 a.m. saying the wires were from some locker decorations that were attached to a battery and the smell came from rotting food in the locker.
* At Worthington's McCord Middle School, a Columbus police officer was present when students arrived after a student made "kind of a nondescript threat" in a group text-message thread Feb. 28. One of the members of the group shared it with the school office and administrators then called Columbus police, according to district spokeswoman Vicki Gnezda.
Groveport police detective Mike Sturgill said on average, detectives are investigating two or three reports a day since the Florida shootings.
Rumors circulated in February about possible threats against the Groveport Madison district, but according to a Feb. 17 post on the district's Twitter account, Groveport police were unable to substantiate that a threat had been made.
Several detectives at Groveport have been investigating the threats, but it takes time to track down internet-protocol addresses and contact companies behind apps such as Pinger.com, Sturgill said. Police have hit some dead-ends, he said, noting that some addresses are masked.
He said none of the threats his department has investigated have been substantiated, but added, "These are coming in every day. You've got to take them all serious."
ThisWeek staff reporters contributed to this story.