CAMPBELL, Ohio (WYTV) – Just last week, WYTV highlighted the importance of “see something, say something,” a national campaign that urges the community to report any and all suspicious behaviors to law enforcement.
In two recent instances, local law enforcement officials say residents doing just that could have saved countless lives, including the two Campbell High School students who reported a threat they overheard on Friday.
“Right now, when students come forward and they say, ‘I’m scared, I’m worried, this situation is making me nervous,’ we respond,” said Campbell Schools Superintendent Matt Bowen.
They will respond without hesitation or a second thought. That’s exactly what happened last Friday, just days into a new school year, when police say two students overheard a fellow classmate threatening to be “the next school shooter.”
“That’s very crucial. They did the proper thing. Heard it, went to the resource officer,” said Campbell Police Chief Pat Kelly.
“The thing that is actually the most troubling to me are the situations where the students aren’t saying something. I’m more troubled by what we don’t know versus what we do know,” Bowen said.
Bowen says that just like every other school, the district has a safety plan in place so if a threat is made, they must respond accordingly.
“We will pick up the phone, we will call the police, there will be a police report, students will be held accountable,” he said.
Bowen says should any evidence ever cause officials to believe something imminent were to happen, they would go into their school safety plan and immediately contact parents.
“We don’t pick and choose, we treat every incident as if it has potential of being a threat,” Bowen said.
At the end of the day, Bowen says it’s all about building better relationships with students and their families. He also hopes to create a trauma-informed community, one where everyone knows what to look for when students are struggling or exhibiting non-typical behaviors.
“We want our parents to know, talk to your kids. We want our kids to know they can talk to us if they can’t talk to their parents, that we want those relationships established,” Bowen said.
“Don’t be afraid to say it. If you see something on social media, tell the school resource officer, tell the principal, tell your parent, teacher, an adult,” Kelly said.