Apprehension ahead of Wilmington’s homecoming after shooting, school threat

‘It’s scary,’ one parent said. ‘School is supposed to be a safe place to send your child.’
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 10:18 PM EDT
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CLINTON COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) - Some parents in the Wilmington school district are wary of their children returning to the classroom for Homecoming week after a threat prompted the district to cancel classes Tuesday.

The full scope of the investigation into the threat remains unclear.

Wilmington police previously said they had been called by a mother who overheard her child talking about social media threats made against the district. The threats were allegedly tied to a juvenile-involved shooting that happened a week earlier.

MORE | Police: Teen suspect in Wilmington shooting turns himself in

The threats allegedly originated in Blanchester, which brought in Blanchester police as well as the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities now say the threats appeared to be “smack talk,” and officers are working to identify those responsible.

Police cleared the district’s return to normal operations Tuesday and promised an extra security presence throughout the district Wednesday.

The same day, they detailed increased patrols at Wilmington High School for all Homecoming activities, including Thursday’s parade, Friday’s football game and the dance on Saturday.

Superintendent Jim Brady put attendance Wednesday at 92 percent. Some parents remain nervous, including Rhonda Store, whose 15-year-old son attends Wilmington High School.

“I mean, it’s scary,” Store said. “School is supposed to be a safe place to send your child.”

Store offers she stays up at night worrying about what could happen.

“I felt better with the extra police presence because I figured with an extra police presence, nothing’s going to happen,” she said. “But what’s going to happen when they’re not there?”

Store says the shooting that involved two juveniles last week is out of character for the area, which makes it that much more concerning.

“It’s never been this bad,” she said. “In the last year or so, there was bullying here or there, but nothing involving weapons or threats and everything like that here.”

Both juveniles in that shooting have been released from the hospital.

Brady says communication between the district and police has been strong during this stressful time.

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