Alva Review-Courier -

Two juveniles arrested in connection with threats against Freedom Public Schools


September 19, 2019

Freedom Public Schools were closed Tuesday, Sept. 17, due to an unspecified threat apparently made on social media. Woods County deputies quickly arrested two juveniles, and at a court hearing later that same day, the two had their bonds set at $250,000 for one and $25,000 for the other.

On Monday, Sept. 16, the Woods County Sheriff's Department received “a report of a threat to Freedom Schools,” said Woods County Undersheriff Keith Dale. Deputies immediately responded to the school, launched an investigation and arrested two juveniles Tuesday, Dale said.

Freedom Public Schools was closed Tuesday as the sheriff's department investigated, but Principal Michelle Shelite told the Freedom Call that the school would re-open the next day at the regular time.

Undersheriff Dale declined to specify the nature of the threat against the school, but said the school was safe for students to return.

“We don't feel like there's any threat to the students at this time,” said Dale, adding, “we will have a law enforcement presence in Freedom for the rest of the week.”

Wednesday afternoon, Shelite said the mood in the school was good. “The day's been going smoothly,” she said. “Everybody's where they need to be.”

When people first heard there's been a threat against the school, they were naturally disturbed, she said.

“At first, it kind of freaked them out a little,” Shelite said, but she spent time yesterday speaking with the students and their parents about the situation, answering questions and trying to ease fears. Some students have come to talk with her today as well, but “we've talked and they're in a good spot,” Shelite said. “The students and staff are very positive.”

Undersheriff Dale couldn't release much information about the incident. “They're juveniles,” he said. “It's different for juveniles. Everything's sealed up.”

However, he did say that neither of the juveniles nor anyone else was injured during the events – not by law enforcement and not by the two juveniles. The threat apparently remained just a threat; “nothing overt occurred,” Dale said.


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