St. Anselm School in Chesterland, Painesville's Harvey High School receive threats

CLEVELAND - St. Anselm School in Chesterland and Harvey High School in Painesville sent out safety messages to parents after each building received threats.

On Wednesday, a parent at St. Anselm noticed a man trying to enter the front of the school building and didn't have a child with him.

The parent called police, who notified the school. The school was quickly secured and all teachers shut and locked their classroom doors while police searched the vicinity.

A search never turned up the man, but the school sent a phone alert to parents as a precaution.

Last week, the school asked parents to report anything suspicious amid the Newtown, Conn. elementary school shootings.

In Painesville, superintendent Michael Hanlon sent an "important AlertNow message" to parents, after isolated reports from different sources about a student planning to bring a gun to Harvey High School.

"School officials responded quickly, contacting the Painesville police school resource officer and launching an investigation into the allegation. A number of parents and students were interviewed concerning the allegation. As a result of the investigation, school officials and the police determined there was no actual first-hand knowledge of any potential threat and that this was an unsubstantiated rumor.  The Police Department closed the investigation of this matter on Tuesday afternoon.

Parents are advised that the school district and the Painesville Police Department plan to implement additional safety and security measures at the school as a precautionary measure for the remainder of the week in order to allow the school to open on time and under normal operations.

Our students are always encouraged to report to school officials any information that may represent a potential threat to the safety of our students or staff members. These reports will be investigated thoroughly in order to substantiate the accuracy of the information and to implement appropriate safety measures as necessary.

Student safety is a community effort. Working together, we are better able to evaluate situations that arise and ensure the safety and security of our students and staff. Please do not hesitate to contact the school or the Painesville Police Department if you have any information concerning a threat to student safety."

A third school was also placed on lockdown. Around 9 a.m. Wednesday, a Montville police officer working at Ralph E. Waite Elementary School was notified by the school's administrative staff that a student had found a spent bullet casing in the lobby area.

Soon after finding the casing on the lobby floor, it was given to a teacher who subsequently notified the front office. For the safety of the students and staff, the school was placed on lockdown until further information could be gathered. Additional officer responded to the school and after checking both the interior and exterior of the school and property to confirm that there was no immediate threat to the students and staff. A complete and thorough search of the school building was also conducted.

The Montville Police Department and Medina County Sheriff's Department, found no weapons associated with the casing or any other threats to students or staff.

After confirming the building was safe to continue with regular school operations, the lockdown was lifted and the building returned to its normal schedule.

Further investigation of video surveillance, and follow-up with students and staff, located the student who originally found the casing and exactly where in the lobby of the school it was found. Additional investigations have determined the source of the casing. This matter is still under investigation.

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