Schools warned of threat

YOUNGSTOWN – Local schools are being watchful after they were told of a potential threat on Monday.

Youngstown police were notified of the threat Sunday, which was made in the form of an online message board post, said Lt. John Kelty. Police throughout the day were in the process of searching for the identity of the poster, who made several statements in reference to killing and instructed viewers to watch the news in Youngstown on Monday.

The threats did not mention a specific school or any students by name, Kelty said.

Area schools are taking precautions after being notified by Youngstown police of the threat, which is being considered non-viable.

Youngstown City Schools were not placed on lockdown, but have taken all the precautions of being on alert, including locking all classroom doors, said communications director Karen Ingraham.

“We’re working with the police department; we’re using our cameras and buzzing in individuals,” she said.

“You can’t be too careful,” said Amy-Anne Kibler, director of the Montessori School of the Mahoning Valley. “You’re always concerned about any sort of talk like that. We are being watchful and on alert, we have our protocols in place,” she said, explaining that they didn’t have to increase their safety protocols beyond those which they already implement every day.

The Diocese of Youngstown placed Catholic schools on modified lockdown, increasing security measures such as locking classroom doors from the inside and limiting access to schools and student movement within schools, said superintendent Nicholas Wolsonovich.

“Even though the police do not believe that this threat is credible … the safety of school students and personnel is our primary concern,” he said.

Kibler said Montessori likely will remain extra watchful throughout the week, even though the threat stated the killings would occur on Monday.

Heightened safety procedures in Catholic Schools also will remain in effect until further notice.

Youngstown police Chief Rod Foley said that while police do not think the threat is credible, he has contacted the FBI and Homeland Security, who are investigating.