ASHVILLE - Investigators are reviewing surveillance videos to help determine the suspect behind a bomb threat that disrupted classes Thursday in the freshman building at Teays Valley High School.
The threat was discovered by a student in a boys' restroom near the cafeteria and reported to police about 1:21 p.m. Thursday, according to Chief Doug Clark, Ashville Police Department.
"We got a complaint of graffiti written on a toilet paper dispenser that stated, 'Bomb now,'" Clark said. "School officials evacuated that building and put everyone in the auxiliary gym at the high school while we searched."
The freshman building is the district's old middle school that sits directly behind the high school on the Teays Valley campus.
Clark said the search was conducted by Ashville Police with assistance from the Pickaway County Sheriff's Office, South Bloomfield Police, Harrison Township Fire Department, the Columbus Bomb Squad, the Ohio State Highway Patrol and members of the school administration.
Clark said officers searched the entire building, including lockers, book bags and locker rooms, but nothing was found.
"We're looking at two or three individuals right now who may have been responsible," Clark said. "We'll be looking at surveillance videos to try to narrow it down and see who was in and out of that area."
Clark said the threat disrupted class for the remainder of the school day, and students were dismissed about 10 minutes later than usual Thursday because of the incident.
This was the first bomb threat for the district this school year, Clark said, but the third threat against students that required searches and investigation.
"We had two gun threats earlier this year, one in probably October and one in November," Clark said. "This is the third threat toward students but the first one indicating a bomb."
Clark said officials take every threat seriously and respond accordingly, but he feels sorry for students whose education is disrupted by these incidents.
"It's just stupid," Clark said. "Why do this when you're in the last few weeks of school, and students are in there trying to take their final tests? Those tests could make the difference between passing and failing, and we're taking them out of the building because someone wrote a threat on a wall. They have to make up that work somewhere."
The last day of school for Teays Valley High School is June 3.