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Hilliard police charge teens suspected of posting threats on social media

Hilliard City Schools

Updated, January 10, 2023: 6:29 A.M. EST

Police in Hilliard have charged two teens connected with posting threats to social media involving Davidson High School on Sunday.

A 15-year-old female was arrested on Monday morning and charged with inducing panic, a second-degree felony posting threat, for allegedly posting threatening messages online. She was taken to the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center.

Hilliard police conducted a search of her home and found no weapons.

Then on Monday afternoon, a 15-year-old male who attends Davidson was charged also with inducing panic, a second-degree felony. The district said in an email to parents the student has admitted to creating the post, which specifically named Davidson HIgh School and shared it with multiple others.

According to officials with the Hilliard Board of Education, they began receiving reports Sunday evening from concerned students and parents about an Instagram account with disturbing material.

Officials say the initial posts did not reference Davidson High School nor Hilliard City Schools, but raised concern because the account followed several Davidson accounts and Davidson students.

Police launched an investigation after they were contacted by school administrators. A message was then sent to the school community notifying students and parents about the situation.

After the initial message was sent out, another post specifically referencing Davidson was reported to authorities.

District officials sent a total of three messages to community members in order to keep them updated about the situation.

“We take every threat very seriously and want to ensure the safety of our school community,” said Hilliard Division of Police Chief Michael Woods. “Within hours of learning of the situation, officers identified the individual and made an arrest. While the investigation remains ongoing, I’m proud of our HPD team and our partnership with Hilliard schools for working urgently.”

“I want to thank everyone who saw these posts and immediately reported them,” said Hilliard City Schools Superintendent David Stewart. “During an evolving situation like this, our first priority is to work with the police to ensure the safety of our students and staff. We are grateful the Hilliard police acted quickly and were able to make this arrest.”

Police searched a home but did not find any weapons.

The girl was charged with inducing panic, which is a second-degree felony. She may face additional charges.

She is being held at the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center.

Police are working to determine if anyone else was involved in the incident.

Jared Clayton Brown joined the WOSU News team in November 2022. He spent seven years working for the Fox and NBC affiliate stations in Louisville and three years with the CBS affiliate station in Columbus.