2 arrested including 15-year-old after fake threats made to Madison, Ind. schools
MADISON, Ind. (WAVE) - Police have arrested two people, including a 15-year-old, after fake threats were made to Madison Indiana schools.
A threatening phone call shut down high school and junior high school classes Tuesday morning. The call was a false alarm, but the entire day was disrupted.
“It started at the junior high, and they were afraid it was moving over the high school because they searched the premises and couldn’t find anybody,” parent Michael Bean said. “They did it for about an hour or so and they let us know that they didn’t find anybody, intruder or anything.”
A threatening call reported by Madison schools resulted in a security sweep of both the high school and junior high.
“They told us we needed to get to the nearest room and to get covered because there is a lockdown,” freshman student Jackson Bean said. “And they didn’t really tell us what it was if it was a bomb threat or shooter. We were just supposed to get to the room immediately.”
After an hour, the police found nothing. The call was a malicious fake.
Out of caution, the schools declared a lockout. No one could leave or enter without a police escort. Parents rolled in for hours, collecting students.
”Well, I’m a grandparent,” Angie Stuart said. “And I’ve been scared to death since we found out something was going on, and we were like what the heck?”
Madison appeared to have become part of a national trend of “swatting.” These are incidents of false calls resulting in police deployment and disruption.
An informal Gray Television poll of stations found swatting incidents in at least 19 states so far this year.
In Madison, the threat resulted in the disruption of classes, inconveniencing hundreds of families.
”Don’t feel very good, you know?” parent Mary Gray said. “You just never know what people are going to do anymore.”
In a letter sent from Madison Consolidated School, around 2:30 p.m., the schools were notified by the Madison City police chief that a suspect had been identified.
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#MadisonLEAD #buildthemup pic.twitter.com/4tn5unFYm1— Madison Con. Schools (@MCS_Indiana) March 7, 2023
Police said they questioned a 15-year-old from Austin, Indiana and another person involved.
Officers determined the 15-year-old was the one responsible for the call. Both individuals will face charges.
“Safety is always our first priority and we follow our safety plans,” superintendent Dr. Teresa Brown said. “We appreciate the efforts of all staff members as we worked through our day to keep students safe and communicate with families. To our parents, we appreciate your patience and support. We understand there is nothing scarier than a situation that places your child in potential danger. We appreciate the trust that you place in us, as well as, the space you gave our law enforcement partners so they could do their work efficiently and effectively.”
School will resume on a normal schedule on Wednesday, March 8.
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