Student arrested after notes discovered
FREDERICKTOWN — Fredericktown school students discovered threats to the school and student body written on small pieces of paper on Monday morning and turned them over to school administrators. The administrative team contacted the Fredericktown Police Department and Fredericktown Fire Department.
“Initially, the threat was determined to be internal and minimal; however, the team continued assessing the situation as more information came forward,” stated Fredericktown Schools Superintendent Matt Chrispin in a robocall to parents and a memo issued Monday afternoon. “Using several sources of information, the administrative team quickly determined the alleged author of the notes. The student responsible for the threats was issued consequences per the Student Code of Conduct and arrested by police.”
In an update posted to the Fredericktown Police Department Facebook page, they wrote, “(the student) was transported to and is currently being held at a detention center pending arraignment.”
Chrispin told the News, “We acted quickly, determined who it was and took action per the student conduct code. We assessed with first responders this morning at approximately 10 a.m. Now it is in the hands of law enforcement.”
Chrispin continues in the memo to thank law enforcement officers and first responders to the call. He recognized how fortunate Fredericktown Schools are to have a close relationship with local first responders. Chrispin also thanked the students who came forward for their “quick response and assistance,” applauding the See Something, Say Something approach’s effectiveness.
“Regrettably, mass violence in schools has become more frequent in the last two decades. With each incident, we learn more about the types of attacks and what responses work best. Please know we take all threats seriously and this one in particular was even more troubling as it came in the wake of the Parkland tragedy. I am pleased with how the administrative team handled the situation using the guidelines in the Crisis Management Plan. Nevertheless, we will meet with the first responders and review what we did well and what we might improve,” stated Chrispin.
Communication is key to keeping students and staff safe, according to the district leader.
“I would again ask parents to emphasize to your children that the safety and security of the building is shared by all of us: administrators, staff, students and parents. We need to talk to each other. And if we see something, we need to say something,” Chrispin continued in his memo.
Fredericktown Police Chief Roger Brown told the News this morning he was unable to comment on the situation as it remains an open investigation.
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office posted Monday on social media that they had learned Sunday about threats of a school shooting in Knox County, Kentucky. The post was not related to the incident in Fredericktown, Sheriff David Shaffer said, and was posted to clear up any reports that the threats were in Knox County, Ohio.
Shaffer said he was aware of the investigation at Fredericktown Monday but was not involved in it.