Alleged threat of school shooting by student

Published November 12, 2015 by justicewg

The Grandview Heights police were called to investigate a student’s home on Burr Ave last night after someone read a post on social media that seemed like a threat of a school shooting. This email was sent to school parents from principal Chaffin –

At approximately 3:01 PM yesterday afternoon, we received information that a GHHS student had made a post on social media that referenced a school shooting. We immediately contacted the police and began an investigation of our own. We continued to work directly with the Grandview Heights Police Department through late last evening, and we do not believe there is or was any threat to our students, staff, or school. The student who made the post will not be attending school at GHHS today or in the immediate future as we investigate further and work on a comprehensive approach to the situation and for our student. There will be an increased police presence in the immediate area of Grandview Heights High School today and we will continue to work with the GHPD to learn more in the coming days. As always, the safety of our staff and students is our #1 priority and we take that very seriously and we cannot thank you enough for your partnership. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact me directly, or the Grandview Heights Police Department. – Ken Chaffin

Stories from local TV stations,( Ch 4, Ch10), gave a little more detail, apparently the student copied the words about a school shooting from someone else’s media (they don’t say who but if there was not a second student investigation it must have been from someone outside the school). This might have been as simple as a re-tweet (a single click on someone else’s tweet will cause it to be repeated on your own twitter stream). City of Grandview Heights blog post.

The news stories also mentioned a “smoke bomb made to look like an explosive.” Two apartment buildings were evacuated while the device was checked out. This might have been a serious threat, or it might have been a Halloween decoration that had not been thrown away. I’m thinking that because the student was allowed to be returned home to his parents he was not considered to be a serious threat.

Lesson to learn from this – referencing a school shooting can lead to big problems for any student, even something as simple as making a single click on the re-tweet button may send the school and police into a full investigation. If this was a dumb mistake by the student, and the device that “looked like a bomb” was a forgotten prop, it would be a shame for the student to be labeled the same as a student who was serious about a school threat. Warn your kids about the dangers of using certain words online.

(Later) A branch fell on a communication line and activated the fire alarm system at Stevenson school this morning.  Students and teachers were evacuated from the building. No problems were found, I’m guessing they fixed the line.

(Later Thursday) Super Culp sent this email (located at the end on this post) with more info, it was an Instagram posting that caused all of this, which is normally just a photo but might have been one with text added to the photo that referenced a school shooting. Without looking at the posting, it is still difficult to know whether this was an appropriate response, or a big furor over a re-post of something the kid thought was funny, but others didn’t get the joke.

(Even Later) Wow, this is getting strange, there is now a new post on the Grandview City blog that says there is evidence that specific students were that target of suspected violence. Was this a case of the suspect saying “I wish those (group) kids would die in a shooting”, or did he name names and methods? Why are we getting so much info dribbled out over the day?

This later post in the Grandview blog asks any student who has info on this incident to contact the police. You can’t know what is happening behind the walls of a police investigation, but we can guess that there are some students with different stories who are attempting to give the best spin to their own actions. If this was a case of a group of kids who were bullying a sophomore who lives in the poorer section of the downhill apartments, mainly because of how much his parents made, there will be furious spinning by these kids and their parents. More info in this TVN story.

Dear Parents and Community Members,

In an effort to pro-actively communicate with our students and families, we want to update the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff community about a situation involving one of our high school students and a highly inappropriate Instagram posting.

After school on Wednesday, November 11, it was reported to Grandview Heights High School Principal Ken Chaffin that a student had posted a threatening picture which referenced a school shooting on Instagram.  As soon as Mr. Chaffin became aware of the claim, he contacted the student and his parents as well as the Grandview Heights Police Department.  The police, in a very timely fashion, were able to interview the student as well as conduct a voluntary search of his room.  He was released last night.  For more information please see the following link:

This morning a detailed investigation continued.  District administration is working in collaboration with the Grandview Heights Police Department.  New developments have come to light as a result of our continued investigation and they are being dealt with immediately and appropriately.  While we are are not permitted to share what disciplinary action may be taken according to school district policy, I want to make it exceedingly clear that this matter is being taken very seriously.

Please consider taking the opportunity to remind your son/daughter about the importance of sharing concerning behaviors exhibited by classmates with either a school official or with you.  As always, thank you for your continued support of Grandview Heights Schools. Sincerely, Andy Culp Superintendent

Previously, School security after Sandy Hook.


3 comments on “Alleged threat of school shooting by student

  • You were getting dribbles because the police are still conducting an investigation. The kid was back at the station last night for questioning- so to me that shows they are VERY concerned about what they know or have found. They have notified parents of those kids that were named. (including me) It is still hard to know if this is a case of bullying or the child’s perceived bullying or if this kid really needs help. I am offended that you would mention that he lives in the poorer part of town, because that has little to do with the situation. Odd and shallow assessment. Also remember the kid is a minor and there are probably reasons the police are not spilling the details for amusement. This is a serious matter- at the very least it may be a way for someone to get some needed help or at the very largest, a very bad thing has been prevented.

    The point is- this type of thing now can happen ANYWHERE.

    • You get offended over a fact of life in Grandview, that there is a “up the hill, down the hill” division in the school and some kids are picked on because of the place they live? I don’t know if that is the case here, but it has a long tradition of being a factor in how social groups divide in the school. Sometimes it isn’t a big factor, I had a kid who didn’t see that division, but I had another who saw it as the way things work at the school.

  • I am offended that you think it is simply an issue of poor vs. rich. It is much more complicated for this kid than that from what I can tell. I also live “down the hill”- moved before knowing there was such a divide and from our perspective, I don’t see this being one of the biggest social challenges for our kids. My kids have had friends all over and it only gets perpetuated by the old standard of how it may have been at one time… Sharks vs. Jets was a long time ago- it is much more muddled than that with today’s social media complicating things.

    There is mental illness and drug use going on both up and down.

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