JACKSON TWP., Ohio — Police are investigating a threat that is alleged to have been made inside a local middle school and say they have no choice but to take it seriously.
Nicole Arnold describes her 11-year-old daughter, a sixth grader at Jackson Memorial Middle School, as smart, sweet, very soft spoken and not one for violence or drama. But the girl, who we have agreed not to identify, said she was recently the focus of a racially charged threat against her life.
Arnold said her daughter, who is bi-racial, was with a friend in the school’s lunch room when they were surrounded by a group of boys who locked arms around them and said “This is Trump (MAGA) country and we are the wall and all black people should die.”
“It really scared her, you know. She’s never had to deal with an issue where it’s been about her skin color and that’s disturbing to me and it’s disturbing to her,” said Arnold.
Arnold reported to the incident to Jackson Township Police to have a record of the incident in case it were ever to escalate.
However, Chief Mark Brink said any threat of violence at a school will be taken seriously and the report was turned over to the department’s detectives.
“We are going to interview the kids that were involved. There’s video of the incident. We are going to look at that and we are going to find out the truth, then we will make decisions based on what that investigation shows and it will be forwarded to the prosecutor. They will look at it then to determine whether charges are warranted or not.”
The school was the scene of an incident in February 2018 when a student snuck a gun into the school and took his own life before any other students or teachers were injured.
The district has released a statement regarding the most recent threat which reads:
“We are aware of the allegation involving a sixth grade student(s) that may have taken place in our middle school’s cafeteria. We will be interviewing students that can provide information regarding this complaint. School safety continues to be a top priority of Jackson Local Schools.”
Arnold said she is satisfied that the school is taking the incident seriously and would like to make sure her daughter feels safe when she returns to school.
“We need to pull together as parents of these children — of the youth — and let them know that this behavior is not ok. It’s not going to be tolerated for anybody. If we can help prevent this from happening to another kid, that is our end goal here.”