STRUTHERS, Ohio - Following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Ct, schools across the Valley are sending a message that any threat made to safety will come with consequences.
On Wednesday, a bomb threat was made at Sharon High School. On Thursday, a 15-year-old student admitted he wrote a threatening message on a paper towel. That student now faces two felony charges, including terroristic threats and a threat to us a weapon of mass destruction.
"We're not going to tolerate this behavior and we take each threat very seriously and we will prosecute this to the fullest extent of the law," said Mike Menster from the Sharon Police Department.
A rash of bomb threats hit Mercer County several years ago, with more than eight in one year.
But with the recent tragedy of Sandy Hook in memory, schools officials are sending the message that a bomb threat or any threat isn't just a harmless prank, it's a serious crime.
Other districts across the Valley dealing with threats after the events of Sandy Hook include Hubbard and Struthers. Those threats were spread by rumor, yet taken seriously none the less.
"Like so many school districts around here on any given day you look into rumors, you look into gossip and 99% of it is unsubstantiated," said Joe Nohra, Struthers Superintendent.
Unsubstantiated or not, they come at a cost to both the school and the community. Schools are evacuated; police and fire respond and sometimes bomb sniffing dogs are called out, an expensive procedure but one that will not be sacrificed.
"That's why you take every one of them seriously because at some point, at some point something could be serious and that's why you head it off," Nohra said.