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Talwanda sends students home early after threat

<p>36% of the eighth grade have tested positive for COVID-19 or are currently quarantining, causing the students to be sent home until Sept. 30 at the earliest.</p>

36% of the eighth grade have tested positive for COVID-19 or are currently quarantining, causing the students to be sent home until Sept. 30 at the earliest.

Talawanda High School (THS) went on lockdown Friday because of a potential threat written on a bathroom stall. Students were sent home early as an investigation by multiple police departments found there to be no legitimate threat. 

Holli Morrish, director of communications and public relations for Talawanda School District (TSD), said at about 11:20 a.m, the high school’s administration received a report of the threat. 

“When that happens, all allegations really are taken seriously,” Morrish said.

The school’s resource officer began investigating as the school started its protocol for potential threats. Morrish said the first step was putting students on lockdown. 

“We just kept students in their fourth period class while law enforcement came over and did their part and did their work,” Morrish said. 

Morrish said representatives from Oxford Police Department and the Butler County Sheriff's Office were both present. Neither department immediately responded to requests for comment. 

Morrish explained that law enforcement used the lockdown to search the entire building and conduct an investigation.

Students were on lockdown for about 90 minutes before Morrish was told administrators had decided to send students home early, just after 1 p.m.

In an email sent to parents, Morrish wrote students were sent home “out of an abundance of caution.” But she wrote that law enforcement did not believe there was a threat to staff or students.

In addition to THS, Talawanda Middle School (TMS) was also sent home early due to TSD’s bussing schedule, but there was no threat to the middle school. 

“​​We live in a time where we see events like this,” Morrish said. “We hear about events like this mostly on the news. And it's really important to take each event seriously. There's a reason that we have safety plans in place and that we practice them.”

Morrish said Talawanda students will return to school on Monday as usual.

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