Breaking: Threat Closes Schools in Athens County< < Back to
Update 3:27 p.m.
In a release by local law enforcement, the threat was found not to be specific to Athens or the Ohio University. Find the full update here.
Update 12:01 p.m.
This is the video posted to Yeti, a location-based social media app, that has prompted closings and alerts in Athens County.
Update 10:32 a.m.
The video law enforcement are investigating, obtained by WOUB, shows a fair-skinned hand holding a semi-automatic pistol, cocking the weapon, possibly releasing a safety and pointing it away from the camera. The person does not speak during the six-second video, but the text “Tomorrow American #students will #die. Some of u are ok. Don’t go to school tomorrow” is superimposed on the screen above the gun.
Schools across Athens County are closed today due to an “unspecified threat.”
Alexander Local Schools, Athens City Schools, Federal Hocking Local Schools, First Friends Pre-School and Daycare, Growing Tree Preschool, Hocking Valley Day School, Nelsonville-York City Schools, Tri-County Career Center, Beacon schools and Trimble Local Schools are closed today. Buses stopping their routes and returning students home.
Ohio University will remain open and exams and Commencement will proceed as scheduled, according to OU Alerts.
A message sent to parents by Athens City Schools Supt. Tom Gibbs says law enforcement are investigating a “threat made against American students” and that due to the short notification, school would be closed.
Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith would not specify the nature of the threat, but told WOUB the FBI is also investigating the threat. A spokesman for the FBI’s local bureau confirmed they were a part of the investigation.
In a press release sent out Friday morning, local law enforcement said an anonymous video “threatening the safety of ‘American students’ had been posted to the location-based social media app, Yeti.
“The app allows users to post and view images associated with college-based user groups,” the release stated. “The threatening video was posted to the ‘Ohio University’ group, which allows users to affiliate with the Athens campus.”
The screenshot shows a hand holding a handgun, with the words “Tomorrow American #students will #die. Some of u are ok. Don’t go to school tomorrow.”
Smith said the threat came in the early morning hours, so investigators notified school officials immediately.
“We just felt we didn’t have enough time to look into the threat before notifying the schools,” Smith said.
Ohio University sent out a statement on the alerts page of their website saying they did not believe a threat to any of the regional campuses or satellite locations exists.
“OUPD is continuing to consult with their state and federal partners and will notify the community immediately if new information suggests a different approach is warranted,” the release stated.
Will be updated as more information is made available.