Athens County, Ohio UPDATE: A press release from the Athens County Sheriff’s Office showed a screen grab from the anonymous “Kill all American students threat.” The threat reads: “#Tomorrow American students will #die. Some of u are ok. Don’t go to school tomorrow.”
All six school districts in the rural southeastern region of the state remain closed. The Ohio University commencement ceremony is continuing on as scheduled, but with added security and safety protocols. The investigation into the threat to “Kill all American students” remains under investigation. No known suspects currently exist. The video reportedly appears to have been filmed locally and posted to the OU Yeti student group app during the very early morning hours today.
All Athens County, Ohio, schools closed after a video threat to kill all American students surfaced, a local source told the Inquisitr. Area news agencies began reporting all five school districts in the county were closing to an “unspecified threat” shortly after 7 a.m. Schools buses in most districts had already begun to pick up middle and high school students for the 7:30 a.m. start of the academic day when the threat emerged.
Athens County schools that closed due to the alleged threat to kill all American students include Athens City schools, Nelsonville-York schools, Trimble schools, Alexander schools, and Federal Hocking schools. The FBI was called in to investigate the death threat against American students, and no suspects or motive have yet been shared with the public at this time.
See attached statement regarding anonymous social media threat posted to Ohio University group on Yeti. pic.twitter.com/va74FysG0c
— OhioUniversityPolice (@oupolice) April 29, 2016
The video threat to kill students was made via an online video posted to the Ohio University Yeti-Campus Stories App. OU is located in the county seat in the city of Athens. The Yeti app reportedly allows users to post local photos and videos from around the campus.
The university campus community includes a multitude of foreign students and educators. The commencement ceremony at OU is scheduled to take place at 9:30 a.m. today, and it is not yet known if the death threat will impact the graduation schedule, the Athens Messenger reports.
Parents were sent a robocall alerting them to the emergency closure of the five Ohio school districts, NBC 4 News reports.
Here’s an excerpt from the message sent to parents by Athens City Schools Superintendent Tom Gibbs.
“Moments ago, local law enforcement officials contacted me to make me aware of a threat that was made against American students. I cannot share at this time the specifics of the threat. Given the short time frame in which to respond to this threat and in order to assure the safety and security of our students, I feel it is necessary to cancel school today.”
“We never like to send students home after they have arrived, but in this case we felt it necessary to ensure their safety,” Trimble Local Schools Superintendent Scott Christman told local reporters.
Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith said his office was alerted to the threat to kill all American students around 6 a.m., an hour after the post was first noticed on the Ohio University Yeti app. Sheriff Smith also noted that the death threat was “produced locally around Athens.” His staff immediately began making attempts to reach school officials at all county districts while deputies launched an investigation into the validity of the threat.
ALERT: Ohio University remains open. Exams and Commencement will proceed as scheduled. Visit https://t.co/QnKRRGv0mj for more info.
— Ohio University (@ohiou) April 29, 2016
“We just felt we didn’t have enough time to look into the threat before notifying the schools,” Sheriff Smith added.
Check back with the Inquisitr for more details about the Athens County schools closed over a kill all American students death threat as additional information becomes available about this Ohio breaking news story.
Note: The author is from the Athens County region and used local news alerts and conversations with citizens to compile information for this report.
[Image via Shutterstock.com]