BELLVILLE, OHIO - A Richland County school campus was placed on lockdown Friday morning just days after making national headlines for what the district calls a students' racist promposal.
A viral picture of the student with his intended prom date shows the student holding a sign that reads, "If I was black I'd be picking cotton but I'm white so I'm picking u for prom."
Friday, the Richland County Sheriff's office investigated a threat surrounding the picture and a shooting at the upcoming prom. The threat was reported by a student who overheard a conversation about it at school. Upon further investigation and a brief lockdown the threat was not deemed credible.
According to Janice Wyckoff, the superintendent at Clear Fork Valley Local Schools the student behind the promposal will not be attending the upcoming prom and has apologized for his actions.
"Our role is to educate kids and not become news stories," said Wyckoff. "...In this day and age you don’t know, what you don’t know and unfortunately what you don’t know, may create injury or hurt someone."
Despite the sheriff finding no credible link to danger some parents say they are not sure if they want children to attend prom.
"It’s sad people think the way they think and do crazy stuff," said Penny Jasinski. "So she would be home with us on prom night."
The promproposal and now school threat is also impacting Jasinski's job. Inside Bellville Flowers and Gifts, the team is busy at work collecting and arranging orders for the upcoming prom and other holidays. However the owner says sales around prom flowers are down at least 20% from years past.
"This is a big part of our business. You know we’re a close knit community, everyone is very loyal to business here in town and it’s hard," said Colleen Turner, owner of the flower shop.
Wyckoff said there will be increased security at prom and hopes things return to normal soon. In an interview Wednesday Wyckoff rejected the students statements as any indication of group think on behalf of the district.
"It’s important to understand that words have meaning and people talk about what you say and when you make those statements that are big statements that are racial slurs people will talk about it," said Wyckoff.