Swatting incident prompts increased safety protocols at Ottawa Hills Local Schools

Emotional support will be offered to students and staff throughout the week
Published: Jan. 16, 2023 at 11:26 PM EST
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OTTAWA HILLS, Ohio (WTVG) - Whether it’s real or an act of swatting, the threat of violence at a school is no joke.

Friday morning, someone called in a threat to Ottawa Hills Local Schools. It put the district on lockdown and prompted anxious parents to gather outside the Junior/Senior High School.

“It was a pretty tough day on Friday here in the Ottawa Hills community, but what came out of it was strength,” said Superintendent Dr. Adam Fineske. He added, despite the emotional distress, everyone rose to the occasion by following training and protocols.

“Our kids were prepared, our staff was prepared, and they did a really great job of getting us through a really challenging situation,” described Dr. Fineske.

Now, as everyone heads back to class after the long holiday weekend, Ottawa Hills will have some changes. In an email to parents, the district promises:

  • A greater presence of Ottawa Hills Police will be at both buildings at arrival, dismissal and throughout the school day and at evening activities
  • Our school counselors and a team of extra crisis counselors will be available for students at both buildings all week
  • Therapy dogs will be present Tuesday at the start of the day at the junior/senior high school and during recesses at the elementary school

“Tomorrow is a ‘Green Out’ day, so all the kids, all the teachers are going to be in green, and then throughout the community over the week, you’ll see signs throughout the community that say, ‘Green Bear Strong’ to really show that we’re together and that we can handle anything,” added Dr. Fineske, who calls that unity an important part of the healing process.

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