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Bomb threat closes Columbia Local Schools


COLUMBIA TWP. — Columbia Local School District was closed Monday due to a bomb threat to students, according to Superintendent Graig Bansek.

In a phone statement sent to parents of students, Bansek said the district faculty discovered a threat on social media about bomb at Columbia Middle School at 10 p.m. Sunday. Multiple students alerted faculty about the threats which they saw on social media posts from another student.

While investigating that threat, the school also found a 10:30 p.m. threat about a gun being brought to school. Although no school or person was mentioned in the second threat, Bansek said, the school called the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office as a precaution.

The sheriff’s office investigated the threat and discovered it was made by an unknown person hacking into a student’s video gaming system that was linked to various social media accounts. From there, the suspect was able to make posts through that student’s accounts.

Bansek said the sheriff’s department believed the hacker was only trying to start a panic and posed no real danger, but are continuing to investigate the situation. Authorities searched the school buildings Monday morning, but found nothing.

“We felt it was very important to ensure the safety of our staff and students by doing this search,” Bansek said in the statement. “We will have deputies on hand at all schools tomorrow morning as a presence on our campus and to make sure that are students an staff feel safe returning to school.”

Additional details weren’t shared because of the ongoing investigation, Bansek said. Lorain County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Daniel Ashdown said he has nothing more to add to Bansek’s statement.

Anyone with information about the threat is asked to contact Bansek at (440) 236-5008.

Contact Bruce Walton at (440) 329-7123 or Follow him on Facebook @BWalton440 or Twitter @BruceWalton
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