A threatening statement was made through a text message toward African-American students at Big Walnut High School on Nov. 11.
Principal Andy Jados said in a statement posted on the high school web page that the school’s administrative team found out about the text after the school day and immediately began an investigation.
In his statement, Jados said many Big Walnut High students had seen the text message.
“This has obviously caused emotional reactions from some students,” Jados wrote. “I wanted you to know that our students’ safety is our number one priority. All students that we have identified as being a part of the text are not at school while we do a full investigation.”
Jados said Delaware County Sheriff’s Deputy Snyder, the school district’s school resource officer, had been involved with the incident and he had communicated with Sunbury police and the Sheriff’s Office.
“Our staff is also aware and have been 100 percent supportive in working to prevent an incident at school,” Jados wrote. “I want you to know that everything possible will be done to not only provide a safe environment for all of our students, but to also work on continuing to build on our positive culture here at Big Walnut High School.”
Reached on Monday, Superintendent Angie Pollock confirmed that all students involved in sending the threatening text message had been identified, and disciplinary action is planned.
“We take student safety seriously,” Pollock said. “We thank the Delaware County Sheriff’s Department and Sunbury Police Department for their attention in this matter.”
Pollock said she believes that the attitude of those who made the racial text threat is localized to a few people, and does not reflect Big Walnut culture.
“We will continue to do things like ‘Challenge Day’ to prevent bullying and threatening behavior at Big Walnut,” Pollock added.
Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.