ELIDA — A 13-year-old male was taken into custody Friday morning following an investigation into a threat made to Elida schools that resulted in a brief lockdown of students.
Elida high school and middle school were placed on a perimeter lockdown shortly before 8 a.m. Friday. An alert issued by school officials at 8:55 a.m. indicated that Allen County Sheriff’s Office deputies had the suspect in custody and that the lockdown had ended.
According to Capt. Andre McConnahea of the Allen County Sheriff’s Office, the district and the sheriff’s office took “immediate action to investigate the complaint (and) it was quickly determined that there was no imminent threat to the faculty or students.”
The suspect that was taken into custody is not a student at Elida school, McConnahea said.
Elida Superintendent of Schools Joel Mengerink, in a statement issued Friday afternoon, said the sheriff’s office responded to a tip Friday morning that resulted from a social media post received by a current student at Elida. The post reportedly included a threat directed at Elida high school and middle school.
“Working in conjunction with the sheriff’s department, and due to the timing of when the threat was received, immediate steps were taken to have extra law enforcement present as the buses, students and staff arrived. Students were placed into lockdowns in the buildings,” Mengerink said.
“This was a very fluid situation and we commend law enforcement for their assistance in keeping students safe, keeping the administration abreast of the investigation and bringing this to a quick conclusion.”
Mengerink said the incident stressed the importance of students speaking out.
“First and foremost, thank you to the student who ultimately brought this to everyone’s attention. It is extremely important that if students see or hear something that they speak up immediately and notify law enforcement,” the superintendent said. “I also want to commend the Allen County Sheriff’s Department for all of their efforts in dealing with the situation, along with Elida’s Police Chief Dale Metzger and school resource officers.”
Mengerink said the district will continue to review safety procedures and make any changes that are necessary.
“Student and staff safety is always our first concern,” the superintendent said.