Warren County authorities are handling a new group of bomb threats made against local schools.
On Wednesday, the Springboro Junior High student charged with making a bomb threat last Thursday at the school was released on house arrest.
The incident was the second of the school year in Springboro after a series last year in Springboro, Lebanon and Waynesville. No charges have been filed in the other incident.
The boy was in court while the Warren County Sheriff’s Office investigated bomb threats that prompted evacuation of South Lebanon Elementary School on the first two days of the week.
During the hearing in Lebanon, Judge Joseph Kirby ordered the 12-year-old Franklin Twp. boy released after a hearing in a hearing room in the Warren County Juvenile Detention Center.
While released on house arrest, the boy will be held in the detention center in Lebanon, where he has been since the incident, during the school day to alleviate the fears of students and parents, Kirby said during the hearing.
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South Lebanon Elementary, on Ohio 48 north of Hamilton Twp. and the Village of Maineville, was evacuated on Monday and Tuesday after a bomb threat. In both cases, the threat came into the 911 dispatcher, in both cases apparently by a caller using disposable or old cellphones, according to investigators.
“Due to the timing of the search and the end of the school day, the decision was made to dismiss the children. Parents were notified to pick-up their child at that time. Thank you to all of the parents and guardians for a smooth reunification,” the district said in a message Tuesday to parents.
In response, the district had police officers at the school on Wednesday and extra patrols throughout the day. Before students or staff entered, a bomb-sniffing dog checked out the school, on Ohio 48, north of Hamilton Twp. and Maineville.
The boy was again led into a hearing room before handcuffs were removed. Lawyer Ed Perry has been retained to defend him, replacing a lawyer appointed by the court.
Court and police records indicate the boy wrote the threat on a bathroom wall of the school on Ohio 741, South Main Street, in Springboro, and tossed the green marker used in a trash can.
A police report indicated he also reported the threat.
The boy admitted to the acts after his hand-writing was compared with the words on the wall, Sgt. Don Wilson said in a narrative attached to the charge.
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Kirby ordered the boy to undergo counseling and remain in 24-hour line-of-site supervision while under house arrest, awaiting further hearings in the making false alarms case. He is to return to court on March 1.
The boy was permitted on school grounds for an expulsion hearing scheduled Wednesday at the school board office.
“We’re taking these matters very seriously,” Kirby said.