McKinley High School student arrested on charge of making terroristic threats.

Stark County Sheriff George T. Maier on Wednesday announced "zero tolerance" for young people using social media to threaten schools and started charging those arrested with felonies.

"We have a zero tolerance on this type of behavior ... and we will take immediate and swift action," he said.

Since Friday, 11 of the county's 17 districts have had students arrested, according to the Stark County Educational Service Center. The threats have interrupted classes and attendance was down at some districts. Attendance at Jackson Memorial Middle School Wednesday — one day after 13-year-old Keith Simons was killed by what police said was a self-inflicted gunshot wound — was 58 percent. Simons died Wednesday afternoon at Akron Children's Hospital.

All Stark County school superintendents have been advised to communicate to students and families this policy.

Joe Chaddock, superintendent of the ESC, advised public school superintendents to have homeroom teachers from middle school to high school speak with students about this new policy and to convey there is "nothing funny at all about posting pictures with guns or making threats."

Chaddock, after meeting with Maier, stressed students will be prosecuted and charged with felony inducing panic. Also, if students or parents "see something, say something."

More incidents

Meanwhile, law enforcement was busy tracking down threats Wednesday and providing more presence throughout districts in the county.

It started late Tuesday night when a McKinley High student sent a classmate a Snapchat message "indicating violence" at McKinley and GlenOak high schools. Deputies arrested the 16-year-old before 3 a.m. Wednesday and charged her with felony counts of inducing panic and making terroristic threats and a misdemeanor telecommunications harassment charge.

Deputies contacted Snapchat, whose representatives were "very quick in their turnaround for information," Inspector Bill Jones, with the Sheriff's Office, said.

The recipient took a screenshot of the message and notified authorities.

On Wednesday afternoon, an 11-year-old Glenwood Intermediate student was charged with felony inducing panic and a misdemeanor telecommunications harassment. He is accused of making threats against the Plain Local school on social media.

"I'm not going to apologize for keeping our kids safe," Maier said.

The boy, who did not go to school today, was summonsed to appear before a judge.

He is accused of posting a Snapchat message showing a background reading "Please pray for the students and parents of Plain Local Schools." Over that background, the boy reportedly typed "RIP GWIS" and a message stating the school would be shot up within the next three days, Capt. Ron Springer, of the Sheriff's Office, said. "GWIS" stands for Glenwood Intermediate School.

"From the sheriff's standpoint, we're definitely going to be very proactive with taking all these steps, and the kids are going to be charged or summonsed," Springer said.

Louisville, Brewster

In Louisville, school resource officers were approached Wednesday morning about threats against that school, but Police Chief Andrew Turowski said those threats were unsubstantiated.

"It's certainly understandable that everyone is on edge and tense about this issue," he said, "and we take any concern very seriously, and we thoroughly investigate it. But at this point, we have no cause for concern."

A number of students, however, were picked up by their parents.

The Brewster Fire Department also reported it was notified of a threatening social media post from a student.

The agency wrote on its Facebook page the threatening post was made in November and recirculated Wednesday. Fairless students brought it to the attention of school officials and the person responsible was apprehended as part of an ongoing investigation.

No weapons were involved and there was no threat of harm to students.

Alliance Police arrest five

Five Alliance High School freshmen were arrested by Alliance police Wednesday after the group of students were overheard by other students discussing "what sounded to be plans to conduct a shooting at the school," Alliance Police Department Capt. John Jenkins said in a release.

After a brief investigation the students told police the plans were being made as a joke and there was no intent to conduct an attack, according to Jenkins.

The five students were each charged with misdemeanor making a false alarm and transported to the Faircrest Juvenile Attention Center to await a hearing.

Other students who overheard the conversations alerted school administrators, who called police to the school. The were overheard discussing the plans at a lunch table.

Reach Lori at 330-580-8309 or lori.steineck@cantonrep.com.

On Twitter: @lsteineckREP