Threat closes Madison-Plains schools

By Jane Beathard - For The Madison Press

A threat of violence closed Madison-Plains Local Schools on Monday. However, classes resumed on Tuesday.

Dep. Kelly Sparks of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office said the threat of a “school shooting” was discovered on the wall of a girls’ restroom at the high school on Thursday.

A female student reported the sighting, prompting a quick response by school officials and law enforcement.

The written message contained no details, except to say the threatened violence would take place on Monday, April 16, Sparks said.

That prompted an increased law enforcement presence on the campus on Friday, April 13, and plans to keep deputies in place on Monday.

“We wanted to lower everyone’s fears and anxiety,” said Sheriff Jim Sabin.

Cancelled classes made that unnecessary.

However, vigilance will continue, Sparks said.

“We will have an increased presence as long as school authorities want one,” she added.

There are no suspects and deputies have no leads in the incident.

“We welcome any and all information on this,” Sparks said.

Three weeks ago, an “obnoxious, non-threatening” writing appeared on a boys’ restroom wall at the high school.

It’s unclear if the incidents are related.

Sabin said the county has recorded several similar incidents since the February mass shooting at Parkland High School in Florida.

“We’ve charged a couple of individuals in recent weeks,” Sabin said. “All were juveniles.”

Inducing panic in a school or government building is a felony — even if charged in juvenile court, Sparks said.

Anyone with information about the Madison-Plains incident is urged to call 740-852-1212. All tips can remain anonymous.

By Jane Beathard

For The Madison Press

Jane Beathard is a contributor for The Madison Press.

Jane Beathard is a contributor for The Madison Press.