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Published: Thursday, 4/25/2013

Southview student suspended for alleged threat

BY NATALIE TRUSSO CAFARELLO
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A Southview High School student has been suspended for making an offhanded remark that turned into an infectious tweet, sparking concerns  that the school and students were under threat Wednesday.

Sylvania School District Officials confirmed that a Southview High School student, who they declined to name, was suspended for 10 days Wednesday because of an “offhanded remark” the student made.

Another student overheard the comment, and tweeted it. The comment became gossip, school officials said, and messages informed students that there was a possible threat in the school. It spread like wildfire throughout the school via the students' cell phones, being tweeted and re-tweeted by students about 10:30 am.

“It spiraled out of control,” district spokesman Nancy Crandell said, adding that the non-issue was made into an issue when the remark went viral. She did comment specifically on what the student said.

The district, which monitors Twitter, immediately traced it back to the source to confirm that the comment was not a threat.

“We knew right away it was not a threat,” Ms. Crandell said.

Nonetheless, Ms. Crandell said that parents were alerted of the incident through the district’s instant alert phone call system.

The City of Sylvania Police Department's school resource officer, who is on duty at the school daily, helped the district in tracing back the message to the original tweet. A Sylvania Township police officer was also called to the scene for safety purposes.

The student who made the remark was pulled out of school as part of the school’s zero tolerance policy.

“We suspended him because we take verbal or threats otherwise seriously,” she said.

The Sylvania School Board changed its policy earlier this year to allow high school students to use their cell phones during study halls, in between classes, or in class for learning purposes.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356 or ntrusso@theblade.com. 



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