BATH TOWNSHIP — A 13-year-old male who formerly was a student at Bath schools was taken into custody shortly before noon Wednesday following what school officials initially described as a social media threat.
The threatening post, which law enforcement officials said was first seen by a Lima area resident when it came across her Instagram account, read: “Bath Middle School will be shot up at May 24 the time. 9:11 be ready!!”
The message was forwarded by the resident to the Lima Police Department’s Facebook page, and police officials subsequently sent the information to the Allen County Sheriff’s Office. Detectives from that agency took over the investigation at that point.
According to a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, the teenager late Wednesday morning admitted to investigators that he had posted the threatening social media message. He was being held Wednesday afternoon in the Allen County Juvenile Detention Center, where he faces a felony charge of juvenile delinquency by inducing panic.
Bath schools Superintendent Rich Dackin declined comment when asked if the student, described by police as a “former” Bath student, had been expelled by district officials.
Allen County Sheriff’s deputies will maintain a significant law enforcement presence at the school through Thursday, according to the statement from the sheriff’s office. Bath School’s faculty and staff have “fully cooperated in the investigation and are implementing additional security needs,” the spokesman said.
In a press release issued Wednesday morning, Dackin said the district became aware around 7 a.m. Wednesday of the social media threat. Classes were held as usual at the school on Wednesday.
In a telephone interview late Wednesday afternoon, Dackin said classes will be held on a normal schedule on Thursday “with a police presence on school grounds.” Asked about plans for Friday, the superintendent said, “We’re taking it day-by-day right now.”
He offered his thanks the Allen County Sheriff’s Office “for providing a presence” at all buildings in the school district throughout the day Wednesday and for their investigation into the incident.