School’s system failed to alert parents of student with airsoft - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

School's system failed to alert parents of student with airsoft gun

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GREEN TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) -

Some parents were left in the dark after police say a boy threatened another student with an AR-15-style airsoft gun Wednesday near a local elementary school.

Police say that 9-year old was seen in the woods near Oakdale Elementary School telling another student to "come closer" and then pointing the air rifle at him. The victim ran away to tell a teacher and the suspect was later arrested at his home.

"He was up near school grounds where he didn't need to be and obviously caused a lot of panic among our students. It was an air soft gun, but still a weapon. It's something we take very seriously," said school principal Geoff Harold.

Students were rushed inside the building, the doors were locked and police were called. The school says parents were notified by Facebook, via text message and the school's phone alert system. The automated phone system failed, and school officials say not all parents were notified.

The boy is now facing a slew of charges including resisting arrest, inducing panic, aggravated menacing and a curfew violation.

According to the 911 call, the student was already suspended from the school before Wednesday's incident for previously making threats.

"He was up near school grounds where he didn't need to be and obviously caused a lot of panic among our students. It was an air soft gun, but still a weapon. It's something we take very seriously," said school principal Geoff Harold.

Students were rushed inside the building, the doors were locked and police were called. The school says parents were notified by Facebook, via text message and the school's phone alert system. But, the automated phone system failed.

In a statement sent to us by school officials, Superintendent Todd Yohey says the system was "tested during the first week of school with no issues."

[Read the school's entire statement on the incident here]

"I understand the parent's frustration. I do. I'm a parent myself. I'd like a phone call as well. For whatever reason, that didn't happen," Harold told FOX19.

Harold says the district is working with parents to come up with a better communication system and sent out test messages via email and phone call after Wednesday's incident, according to their Facebook page.

If you're an Oakdale Elementary School parent and did not receive them, contact the school.

The district also plans to send home information with students about how accessing information and alerts from the school through email, text, a phone call and Facebook.

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