6 p.m. Wednesday
Three additional school threats in Bartholomew County — besides two at Columbus East High School — are being investigated, police said.
The additional reports of threats by students were investigated at Hauser High School in Hope and at the Edinburgh Educational Resource Center, police said late Wednesday afternoon.
Hope Town Marshal Matt Tallent said his department is investigating two separate incidents involving Hauser students.
The first, reported to police on Tuesday, involved one boy from Hauser threatening to kill another, Tallent said. The second threat, reported Wednesday, alleged that a different Hauser High School boy planned to shoot up the school Thursday, Tallent said.
Hope police were on the verge Wednesday evening of meeting with the boy accused of making the broader threat, and his mother, Tallent said.
Police planned to ask the mother whether she would consent to a search of their home for weapons or any other items that could be used against students, the Hope marshal said.
Tallent said he could not release the names of the Hauser boys being investigated. Flat Rock-Hawcreek School Corp. reported both incidents to Hope police, he said.
In Edinburgh, Police Chief David Mann said Wednesday that his department had received a report from school administrators that a 16-year-old student at the Edinburgh Educational Resource Center had drawn a sketch resembling a classroom. Contained within the drawing were sketches of a semi-automatic pistol and of bodies identified by student and teacher names on the sheet showing what appeared to be gunshot wounds, Mann said.
The student showed the drawing to other students, who reported to the staff their concerns, worries and fear for their safety, Mann said.
The student left the school prior to arrival by Edinburgh police, but the boy was taken into custody by Edinburgh officers outside of his home and transported to the Bartholomew County Detention Center on the charge of Intimidation, a Level 6 felony.
No weapon was located on the Edinburgh school grounds, located at 11622 NE Executive Drive near Edinburgh Premium Outlets, but the student was in possession of marijuana when taken into custody, Mann said.
The resource center, according to a school website, is a non-traditional educational opportunity for at-risk students from Edinburgh Community, Ninevah-Hensley-Jackson and the Southwestern School Corp. in Shelby County.
1:45 p.m. Wednesday
COLUMBUS, Ind. — About 100 Central Middle School students gathered outside at noon today around the school flagpole for about 17 minutes, an action taken in support of other protests across the nation following the deadly shootings Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people died.
Central Principal Randy Gratz and assistant principal Blake Manuel notified parents of Central students about the peaceful protest on the school grounds, 725 Seventh St.
According to the email to parents, “CMS teachers and counselors spoke to all of the classrooms about the effects of such actions and encouraged students to meet and discuss with school administrators in preparation for the national ‘walk-out’ planned for sometime in April. It was also discussed that such actions are typically more effective when executed on a larger scale like the national event scheduled for April.”
Central Middle School staff members were outside with the students during the noon protest to make sure everyone acted responsibly, the email from Gratz and Manuel said.
At the conclusion of the 17-minute protest, Central students made their way back to classes, the email said.
“This is a positive reminder to all of us the importance of engaging in meaningful and respectful conversations around issues that our society faces. Please know that Central will continue to use situations like this as learning opportunities for our students. As always, the safety, coupled with the education of our students, is our primary concern,” Gratz and Manuel wrote.
Updated at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday
COLUMBUS, Ind. — Columbus police have arrested a former Columbus East student, a juvenile, on a felony intimidation charge after he was accused of sending a threat against the school over social media this morning when students had evacuated for an accidental fire alarm.
It was the second arrest of a juvenile in two days over threats against the high school.
Columbus Police arrested a male juvenile Tuesday at the high school after authorities learned from students about a social media threat against the school on Snapchat. That juvenile was scheduled to appear in juvenile court today at the Bartholomew County Courthouse.
East students evacuated the school at 8 a.m. this morning after students moving items in a hallway inadvertently hit a fire alarm box, knocking off its cover and setting off the alarm, according to the Columbus Fire Department.
While East students were outside, they began taking pictures and videos on their phones of the evacuation and sharing the images on social media, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.
A former East student not currently enrolled in the school sent a response via social media back to the students, making a threat of violence, Harris said. The message included a photo of the juvenile male holding a firearm, Harris said. The firearm was not an assault weapon, he said.
The social media threat was shared with law enforcement and police identified the individual as East prepared to lock down the school, Harris said. The school started the process by getting all students inside and calling 911, but did not implement the lockdown as police located the suspect after checking several locations in Columbus, Harris said.
Police are not releasing where the individual was located, but did say it was not at his home, Harris said. No weapon was recovered.
The juvenile did not resist when taken into custody and was taken to the Bartholomew County Youth Services Center on a preliminary charge of intimidation, a Level 6 felony, Harris said.
For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.