Police increase presence at New Philadelphia schools after social media ‘hoax’
NEW PHILADEPHIA (WJER) (October 24, 2022) – A vague threat on social media led to an increased law enforcement presence at New Philadelphia schools today. Police say it turned out to be a hoax.
Police Chief Michael Goodwin in a Facebook post said there is no threat to the schools, although officers continued monitoring the buildings into the afternoon.
“The New Philadelphia Police are aware of a vague threat that was posted on social media regarding the area schools being placed on a lockdown today. (October 24, 2022) It appears that this is a hoax and there is no threat to the New Philadelphia School system. We currently have officers in the area and will continue to monitor the situation. Again, there is no threat at the schools.” – New Philadelphia Police Chief Michael Goodwin on Facebook
New Philadelphia Assistant Superintendent Jeff Williams says administrators Monday morning discovered a written threat shared between students and took every precaution.
“We did our due diligence to go through as an administration to contact people and to make sure we did our own investigation into it. There was never an incident. There were never any verbal threats. There has been nothing that has happened at all at Welty or our high school today; not in the least.”
Williams says the district sent out messages about the situation which led to some calls from concerned parents. He assured them the district was just being extra cautious.
“In this day and age, we want to take every precaution we can with anything. We treat nothing as mild anymore. We hope our community understands.”
Williams didn’t go into detail about the threat or the student who shared it.
He said there was no lockdown.
“Just some questioning, some investigating. Local authorities helped us with that. Just questioning and finding the source of the message.”
District Facebook post
The district followed up messages to parents with this Facebook post:
As a school district deemed with educating and protecting the children of New Philadelphia City Schools we take that responsibility extremely seriously. We hope that you will trust in our teachers and administration as we continue to provide the highest quality of both education and safety. In keeping with that trust, we will hope that you will trust us when we tell you that there is not a current threat to Welty or New Philadelphia High School.
We were informed this morning of a post that alluded to a threat. Our administration instantly came together, law enforcement was called and we did our due diligence to make sure our school buildings were safe. The heightened presence of our local police department was strictly for added precaution, not because there is or was an incident. We implore you to once again, trust that all staff and students are safe at Welty and New Philadelphia High School and that there have been no incidences of danger at any point during this school day. The messages that went out this morning were meant to provide solace as we would rather our parents know of our precautions rather than hear about them through second-hand sources.
Thank you and have a wonderful day.”