Middletown HS bathroom threat 'specific enough' to cancel last day of class

MIDDLETOWN, OH (FOX19) - There was a strong police presence at Middletown High School's graduation Tuesday night after a threat of violence found in the girl's restroom prompted a cancellation of Wednesday classes.

Several police officers guarded the entrance and exits of the Barnitz Stadium as seniors walked across the stage to get their diplomas.

Some in attendance were still a bit on edge after learning about the recent threat at the school.

"It's a scary feeling my grandson goes there," said Deborah Collier.

Concerned parent Theresa Helton said it was ridiculous.

"You send your kids to school thinking they're going to be safe," she said.

It's an abrupt ending for the school year. The last day of class was scheduled for Wednesday but the spokesperson for the school says they are not going to take any chances after a student found a message in the girl's bathroom warning of a school shooting.

"It was specific enough. It gave a date that being tomorrow the 23rd and so we felt it was the safest, the best interest of our students and staff was to close school tomorrow," said Elizabeth Beadle, the Communication Specialist at Middletown City Schools.

All the parents FOX19 spoke with agreed with the school's decision.

"I wouldn't send my kid to school knowing that this type of stuff is happening, because they never know what might happen. You don't want to bring it up, rest in peace but Texas, but we don't want that happening here," said Gloria Williams, a concerned parent.

While the students are starting their summer break police and school officials are still working to find the source of the threat.

"We started our safety protocols right away our school resource police officers and staff, they started reviewing videotapes from the hallway interviewing students and staff," said Beadle.

The district is also encouraging parents to talk to their kids and to report anything they might know. School officials are asking if your student knows anything about the threat to contact them at 513-425-7700.

In the meantime, parents say they hope the schools use the summer break to improve security to prevent future scares.

"We didn't deal with that when I was in school. I can't imagine what these kids feel," said Helton.

The other schools in the district are not impacted and will resume as normal.

Beadle says once it's determined the high school is safe, school officials will pick a date where students can come back and collect their things.

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