McKinley Elementary evacuated following threat

LISBON– McKinley Elementary School in Lisbon was evacuated briefly Tuesday after yet another vague threatening message was found scrawled on a restroom wall.

Lisbon Police Chief Mike Abraham said students were sent outside at 2:30 p.m. after one of them found the words “bomb school” written on a boys restroom wall. The fire department was called to assist police in searching the school, and nothing was found.

“We treated it like a fire drill” and evacuated the building following that protocol, Abraham explained.

The chief said there is a possible suspect in the case — an 11-year-old boy — but police are continuing to review security camera video and interview students. Police will confer with the assistant prosecutor assigned to Columbiana County Juvenile Court to decide what steps can be taken.

This is the second vague threat in the past month that resulted in a Lisbon school being evacuated. The junior/senior high school was evacuated Feb. 2 after a student reported seeing “1:00 boom” written on the wall of a girls restroom. The message was interpreted as a possible bomb threat, and resulted in cancellation of the school spelling bee, which was just about to begin.

Abraham said no charges have been filed resulting from the Feb. 2 threat, although his department had a couple suspects in mind. He said his department will press charges whenever possible.

“It’s getting kind of ridiculous. These kids need to realize how real this is” given the number of school shootings that have occurred across the country, he said. “There has got to be some kind of consequences” for making these threats.

Tuesday’s incident is the fifth time since 2014 a message of this sort has been left on a restroom wall that resulted in students being evacuated. Three have occurred at McKinley Elementary.