JEFFERSON TWP — South Butler Schools sent a letter Thursday assuring parents that their students are safe at school and the rumors circulating since the safety issue on Monday are unsubstantiated — but the district will be on modified lockdown Friday.
Modified lockdown means no visitors are allowed on campus or in the buildings and all students stay inside their buildings for the entire day.
“Sadly, as is so often the case, rumors are still circulating,” Superintendent David Foley wrote to parents in the letter sent home Thursday. “Some of those rumors have resulted in calls to the district's tip line, while others have been reported within the schools, and administrators and school police have interviewed any students involved.”
While not describing any rumors in detail, Foley said all are unsubstantiated and no credible threat exists to students or staff.
Foley said he was resuming the lockdown on Friday to alleviate anxiety and avoid student attendance problems as a result of the rumors.
“Additionally, our school police will continue their heightened visibility and we are asking that the local police forces continue their patrol of our school campus,” Foley wrote.
Jason Bowen, 18, of Penn Township was arrested early Monday morning and charged with terroristic threats and other crimes after posting a video on Snapchat of himself firing a AK-style weapon with the caption “Training for prom walk.”
Foley stressed that the same police officers who investigated the Bowen incident also investigated the swirling rumors, and found no credibility in any.
“We believe that in the interest of uninterrupted instruction, we need to provide this extra layer of security,” states the letter.
Foley encouraged parents to talk with their children about telling someone when they see something potentially dangerous by calling the district's tip line or approaching a principal or guidance counselor.
“Safety is everyone's responsibility, and we need to work as a community to ensure the safety of our schools,” Foley stated in the letter.
Bowen remains in the Butler County Prison on $100,000 straight cash bond.