Officials say there is no indication social media threats of violence at Akron Public Schools Tuesday and Wednesday are credible, but police provided extra security in response, which resulted in the arrest of a student who brought a fake gun to Litchfield CLC Wednesday morning.
"Unfortunately, threats of violence at schools are becoming increasingly routine on social media," schools Superintendent Christine Fowler Mack said in an email to parents Wednesday. "This was the case in three of our schools this morning after messages were posted on social media threatening a shooting two separate times at Firestone CLC, a student brought in what turned out to be a toy gun to Litchfield CLC, and at nearby Case CLC families were so concerned we locked down the school."
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Akron Police Capt. David Laughlin said a threat concerning Firestone CLC was brought to the department's attention Tuesday night, leading the department to increase security at Firestone and adjacent Litchfield.
"There was a threat to bring a gun to the school," he said, but did not have further information on that threat.
He said the department was notified by school administration about the student with the fake gun at Litchfield and arrested the student. Laughlin did not have further details regarding the student, but said "his arrest was unrelated to the other threats."
Laughlin said the department became aware of another threat via social media concerning Firestone on Wednesday and are investigating.
"The picture appeared to be taken in a bathroom, and we checked Akron Public Schools and it did not appear to have been taken in a school building," he said.
The photo shows someone appearing to hold a pistol with captions stating "y'all on da bs bra" and "metal detectors ain't stopping nan!!!!!! It's up at 9:30."
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Laughlin said Wednesday afternoon the department is treating the image as a threat and is continuing its investigation.
There were no threats against Case CLC, but it was put under a brief lockdown Wednesday after parents contacted the school with concerns about the Firestone threats, officials said.
Fowler Mack said police will remain on site for the protection of students and staff throughout the investigation.
She asked that parents tell children that schools are safe and that the district is working to keep the schools secure and address social media threats.
She said the district has been "fully engaged in enhancing security procedures and measures," and coordinating those efforts with local law enforcement.
"You can assist with these efforts by reminding students that such threats, whether real or false, pose serious consequences for the offender, including suspension or expulsion from school and also criminal charges," she said.
Eric Marotta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MarottaEric.
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Akron student arrested with fake gun after social media threats