'Columbine Effect' cause of spike in school threats nationwide

(Courtesy: The Educator's School Safety Network)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - There's been more than half a dozen school threats in the last few weeks, all across the Miami Valley.

Our districts are trying to get a handle on the spike, nearly a month after the Parkland, FL shooting.

Multiple officers were called to Belmont High School Wednesday, after school officials say a rumor about a shooter in the school prompted a call to police. Wednesday morning, two men were arrested in connection with a threat that prompted a lockdown at two West Carrollton schools Tuesday. The police department said the suspects posted a video to Snapchat showing them outside the high school while one of them was holding a gun. Simon Carroll is now being charged with tampering with evidence and inducing panic, and Isaiah Conner faces charges of tampering with evidence, inducing panic and obstructing official business.

This week's incidents add to at least two incidents last week. Springfield Police told Fox 45 that a 6-year-old brought a gun to Kenwood Elementary. The Chief stressed there was no immediate threat, but said it's still a dangerous situation, especially given the current climate.

On March 2, an 11-year-old was suspended from Lagonda Elementary after police said he told a teacher he would bring a gun to school and shoot up her house.

It's called the 'Columbine Effect.' The term is a mix of heightened fears and legitimate copycats looking for attention after a national event. The Educator's School Safety Network tracks threats and incidents nationwide. In the seven days following Parkland, the network went from tracking 10 incidents a day to 70, and Ohio tops the list.

Even more, data from the 2016-2017 school year reports that Ohio was once labeled the #1 'State of Concern.'

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