Students in custody after threats at Hamilton, Middletown high schools

Students in custody after threats at Hamilton, Middletown high schools

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - Two separate incidents at two high schools put school officials and parents on high alert this week.

A Hamilton High School student will face criminal charges and "discipline to the fullest extent" for a threat made on social media Thursday night, according to Principal John Wilhelm.

Cortlin Barrett, 19, threatened to "do worse" than the Florida school shooting in an image posted to Snapchat, according to Sgt. Brian Robinson

On Friday, a threat made at Middletown High School forced a lockdown in the building and surrounding schools for more than an hour. By 2:20 p.m., the lockdown was lifted and police took a student into custody.

Few details have been released about the Middletown incident.

The threats come two days after a shooting at a Florida high school left 17 dead and the rest of the U.S. on edge. Schools across the nation have been targeted with threats and concerning social media posts since the massacre, Fox News reports. 

At Hamilton High, parents were informed about the threat from the principal's email.

Wilhelm announced that the unidentified student was arrested after a student from another building reported the threat Thursday night.

Wilhelm said the student should be commended for speaking up about the concerning post.

"I know this is a time of high stress for our families.  Please know that the Hamilton City School District continues to review safety procedures with the Hamilton Police Department and Hamilton Fire Department to ensure all of our students and staff have a safe place to learn and grow," the letter said.

Authorities did not specify the nature or exact wording of the post.

On Thursday, a Ross Township student was arrested for a SnapChat that referenced the Florida massacre.

The 14-year-old posted a photo and caption reading "17 people, I can beat that," according to a police report.

Authorities continue to stress the "see something, say something" mantra.

"I encourage you to speak with your children and advise them to speak up if they see something.  Likewise, it is important to reiterate proper social media behavior," Wilhelm said. "My message to students today was If they post or say anything threatening on social media or in person, even if it is meant as a joke, they will be held accountable.  We cannot judge intent.  Nor will we.  In fact, we will use every avenue available to hold students accountable.  This includes police action as well well as school discipline."

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