Tipp City student charged after threat


TIPP CITY — A Tippecanoe Middle School student has been charged after allegedly making threats to shoot up the Tipp City school in early December 2022.

According to a Tipp City Police report, the student was questioned by police on Dec. 8, 2022. During that conversation with police, the student admitted to saying they would shoot up the school if they could and named targeted individuals and weapons they had in mind to use during the assault. The student told the responding police officer they were giving an “honest response to the questions, but wouldn’t actually do it,” the report said.

Amid the return to school from the winter break, some Tipp City parents expressed concern amongst themselves on social media about the threat, as some parents appeared to be unaware of the issue.

Tipp City Police Chief Greg Adkins told Miami Valley Today by email, when asked for a comment about the incident on Wednesday, “The Tipp City Police Department received a complaint investigated and handled on Dec. 8, 2022. The suspect in this complaint was interviewed, and an appropriate charge was filed following conversations with the Miami County Juvenile Prosecutor. I can’t speak to where the matter stands in court or if the juvenile has been adjudicated.”

Adkins said he could not speak on the status of the student’s disciplinary action, as that is a school matter and is protected under Ohio law for the school system to disseminate the information.

However, Adkins said, “the police department has not waivered from our mission of providing a safe learning environment for staff and students. The department deployed additional resources to the middle school on Tuesday morning to help calm parents’ concerns. We can’t stop the damage that social media has created and the misinformation some are distributing online.

“The police department provides a full-time DARE officer to the district, and each day, an off-duty officer volunteers to work on their day off in several of the buildings throughout the day. The school district pays 80%, and the city pays 20% of the overtime rate for that officer. If the school district wishes to re-evaluate that program or add additional officers to the schools as full-time SRO we will have those discussions in the future.”

Adkins also provided the statement shared Tuesday that addressed the social media conversations of parents’ concerns, which said the police department and Tipp City Schools had a plan (that) was “in place to reintegrate a student into the middle school prior to the social media comments and posts. This plan was in place in early December and had never changed. There is a lot of misinformation on social media that began in the last few days. I can assure you that the safety of each child and staff member is our top priority. We continue to work closely with the school district to monitor situations and have plans for the highest level of safety we can provide.

“Many points that are brought to light are issues the school district can only address based on laws they must follow. I can confirm that the middle school staff and board office staff communicated with members of our department well before some speculation, ” the statement said.

It continued, “The department had an increased number of officers present (Tuesday) morning and (Tuesday) afternoon to help calm the situation. The department is monitoring potential threats, and I can confirm there are no additional threats at this time. The police department addressed the previous concerns with the Miami County Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office.

“Situations that arise are about open communication and teamwork and providing the safest environment possible for students and staff while maintaining a sense of normalcy for all. Safety plans will not be shared publicly.

“I know there is information on social media regarding the release of the report. A common misconception about juvenile police reports is that no Ohio law categorically excludes all juvenile records from public records disclosure. Once a report has been closed and charges filed, the report is a public record. To not release a public record, the department must identify a specific law that withholds the information. Once the department legally releases the record, the department has no control over what the recipient does or does not do with a report, including the recipient posting the report to social media.

“Tipp City is a wonderful community because of the efforts of the community and school district. Please continue to respect the laws that govern entities and know that the Tipp City Police Department continues to put safety and service as our top priority. The department will not answer questions on behalf of the school district. We work with district to address safety and security needs and concerns,” the statement concluded.

Miami Valley Today also reached out to Tipp City Exempted Village Schools Superintendent Mark J. Stafanik for a comment and has not heard back as of press time.

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