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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Fort Thomas Schools, Police Department Take Proactive Approach to Keeping Schools Safe

A rash of threats made against schools in northern Kentucky has school officials and police in Fort Thomas proactively reaching out to the community to ask for cooperation to make schools safe.

In Boone County, five students are facing charges after making threats towards schools.

Boone County Sheriff Michael Helmig said that charges against five students involved Cooper, Conner, and Boone County High Schools, as well as Ockerman and R.A. Jones Middle Schools. The students are charged with terroristic threatening and disorderly conduct.

Campbell Co. YMCA. 
Another student in Campbell County made threats toward a middle school in Pendleton County. That student was also charged terroristic threatening and disorderly conduct.

This morning, Boone County Police reported that yet another threat was made at Conner High School this morning in which a student gave a handwritten note to a teacher, indicating that a bomb was going to go off at 1:00 p.m. That student later said he did it in retaliation to other students bullying him.

RELATED: Campbell County Boy Arrested After Online Threats Made Toward School 

Fort Thomas Independent Schools Superintendent Dr. Karen Cheser said she has talked with Fort Thomas Police to help students feel safe in their learning environments.

"Our students should be focused on learning and we will do everything we can to ensure that they feel safe here,” she said. “No child should have to go to school in fear. That has always been our top priority. With the recent tragic events that have occurred, we feel more emboldened to cultivate a climate in our schools that is free from danger so that our students can continue to thrive."

Fort Thomas Police Chief, Mike Daly, echoed Cheser's sentiments.

"Our police force knows this community and we want to make sure that our residents know that we want an open dialogue with them," he said. "We will continue to work with the schools in Fort Thomas to help them keep our schools as the best in the state and focused on learning."

A joint statement from Fort Thomas Independent Schools and the Fort Thomas Police Department was issued to elaborate further.

That statement, in part, read:

"Like every American, everyone in the Fort Thomas Independent Schools and Fort Thomas Police Department is heartbroken by the events that occurred in Parkland, Florida and in Marshall County, Kentucky. The Fort Thomas Schools and Fort Thomas Police Department share and are fully committed to ensuring that our schools are the safest places in our community. In fact, it is our top priority.

For years, the Fort Thomas Independent Schools and Fort Thomas Police Department have partnered together to ensure that our schools are safe.  We continue to work together to identify and implement tools and strategies that will make our schools safer, minimize their appeal as potential targets, and – ultimately – keep our children safe.

In addition, we need our entire community to help us identify those who might threaten or bring harm to our students. Every student, parent, grandparent and community member must be a part of the solution. We implore every member of our community to speak up if they suspect for any reason that anyone is contemplating such a heinous act as attacking any of our schools.

Please call the Fort Thomas Dispatch Center immediately at 859-292-3622 to report anything suspicious, whether it’s a comment or post on social media, a conversation overheard, your child’s remark at the dinner table about something another student said at school, or anything else that gives you pause. When in doubt, please call us!

In addition, we are asking any of our students, parents, staff, community members who would like to be part of a school district safety task force to please contact us at:"

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