BELLVILLE - A daylong investigation Friday by the Richland County Sheriff's office found "no verifiable or credible threats" to Clear Fork schools.
The district went on a perimeter lockdown Friday morning after a threat was reported at Butler Elementary. Several other school districts across Richland County locked down later in the morning out of precaution.
But by 2:30 p.m., the investigation was over and no threat was found, according to Maj. Joe Masi of the Richland County Sheriff's Office.
"The information reported to Butler Elementary officials could not be verified as truthful," Masi said in a press release. "The investigation was prolonged because of false information being reported in social media. There are no verifiable or credible threats towards Clear Fork schools or the community based on the information received from officials."
Janice Wyckoff, superintendent of Clear Fork, said the threat was not made directly to the school system, but did involve a student who once attended one of her schools.
"We're just taking some precautions," she said. "We're being cautious and making sure everyone's safe."
She asked that any specific questions about the incident be answered only by law-enforcement personnel.
Masi said detectives investigated the source of the threat that caused the alarm.
Wyckoff said the outside doors at all of the schools were all locked, and staff members are manned them to make sure students didn't inadvertently let someone inside.
The Clear Fork lockdown went into effect around 8:30 a.m. Wyckoff said classes were to go on as scheduled. School officials sent out text-message alerts to parents.
"We are still having school, and we're going to continue as normal," she said. "We just want to make sure there's a police presence when they release."
Richland County sheriff's deputies were at the schools and in the area to investigate the threat and provide extra patrol.
"We're back to school on Monday," Wyckoff said.
Pioneer Career and Technology Center also went on lockdown.
"This is in relation to the things going on in southern Richland County," said Greg Nickoli, superintendent of the school.
He said the precautionary lockdown wasn't supposed to change the way classes were conducted.
"We just keep everybody inside — on a nicer day we may have had some classes outside," Nickoli said. "Operations inside the building are as usual."
Ontario Local Schools went on a soft lockdown later Friday morning, according to Lisa Carmichael, the district's superintendent.
"We’re just taking precautionary measures today," Carmichael said. "All of our doors are locked anyway and we’re just asking our secretaries to be a little extra cautious buzzing people in and out."