No Charges For Students Who Threatened Classmate
(WHBC) – No criminal charges will be filed against the two Canton elementary school students who allegedly threatened to kill a classmate in a video on YouTube.
The two 4th graders attend Gibbs Leadership School at 1320 Gibbs Avenue NE.
One of the 9-year-old students was found to be in possession of a knife last Thursday after a concerned parent went to the school to inform them of the threat.
Prosecutors in the juvenile division of the Stark County Prosecutor’s Office reviewed the incident and decided against filing any charges.
The school district previously stated that the boy found with the knife was suspended for 10 days and the other boy was suspended for five.
The district wouldn’t comment on what additional discipline was doled out.
The family of the boy who was threatened was unhappy with how the incident was handled by the school and the district.
WHBC spoke with the boy’s aunt, Laura, who said the situation was much more serious than just a case of cyber-bullying as she says the district referred to it.
“These are children, but a 9-year-old is capable of murder.”
She believes the school should have been locked down as the students’ belongings were searched for the gun and knife that she says the students said they were taking to school in the video.
She also says the school should have informed all parents of the incident on the day it happened, on Thursday, instead of waiting until Saturday.
She says her brother has pulled his son from the school and is sending him elsewhere.
The Canton City School District provided WHBC with the following statement when contacted about the matter on Monday.
On Thursday, an alert Gibbs parent came to the school to let administration know that one of our students had posted a video to social media that made threats to other students with mention of a weapon.
The staff immediately removed the student from class and did indeed find a knife with his belongings. That student was suspended and will now face the due process afforded to him, as with all cases such as this. A second student involved in the situation was also disciplined.
The incident has been fully investigated. The district’s School Resource Officers, Safety and Security team, and administration handled the situation swiftly with a priority of removing the potential danger without causing any disruption among the students. Because the matter was handled without incident, no lockdown was necessary. The parents of those involved were quickly notified. Gibbs’ families were notified Saturday by an all-call once the investigation was complete.
We are thankful that the parent and our staff took what they were hearing seriously, and we effectively handled this without incident.
The safety and security of our students and staff is our highest priority.