Teen girl charged with felony for allegedly making threat that closed Lakota school


Dec. 20—LIBERTY TWP. — A teen has been charged with a felony for allegedly making a threat that closed a school in the Lakota School District on Monday, according to Butler County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Mike Craft.

The charge against the 13-year-old girl is for making terroristic threats, a third-degree felony. She is in the Butler County Juvenile Detention Center, Craft said.

The girl admitted to making the threat to shoot up Liberty Junior School on social media to get out of school, according to Butler County Juvenile Court documents.

The girl will be arraigned Tuesday in Butler County Juvenile Court.

Liberty Junior School on Dutchland Parkway in Liberty Twp. was closed after the threat was received via social media Sunday might, according to the district and the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

On Monday morning, the school “learned of a direct threat of a potential shooting … that has been shared via social media,” Principal Eric Bauman said in an email to parents. “The Butler County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating is threat. Because the investigation is continuing right now, and out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our students and staff, Liberty Junior School will be closed today.”

BCSO Capt. Rick Bucheit said unlike some of the copycat messages circulating via TikTok last week, this threat was more specific.

“This was different. It said ‘I’m shooting up LJS tomorrow’ … that was what was said last night. Then (they) had the nerve to say, ‘if not tomorrow, Tuesday’,” Bucheit said. It was received via Snapchat.

Because the threat was more specific, Bucheit said the district decided to err on the side of caution. Detectives are actively investigating.

The school, along with 21 other Lakota schools, is scheduled to end classes for winter break after Tuesday’s school day.

Lakota teachers are scheduled to attend a professional development day on Wednesday before starting their holiday break.

“The safety of our students and staff is always our first priority. Together with our law enforcement partners at the Butler County Sheriff’s Office and West Chester Police Department, every threat is thoroughly investigated, no matter how big or small it may seem. Any safety concern should be reported to a school administrator, the police or through our anonymous safety tip line, 844-SAFEROH,” said Betsy Fuller, district communications director.

Staff Writer Michael C. Clark contributed to this report.

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