ELYRIA, Ohio - A concealed weapon and several "hit lists" found at a middle and elementary school in Ohio have led to the arrests of four children, according to police.
The students are charged with making terrorist threats and aggravated menacing, Elyria Police Capt. Chris Costantino told WJW Wednesday.
On April 19, officers arrested a 10-year-old Franklin Elementary student who allegedly brought a large knife to school inside her backpack. A fourth grade teacher reported the weapon after another student spoke up.
Five days later, police arrested a 10-year-old boy accused of working with the girl to write a list of students they wanted to "stab to death."
"In some of her writings, it mentioned how she wanted to stab people," Costantino said. "So, she actually not only talked about it but brought in something to follow through with her threat."
A janitor later found the list discarded in a trash can. Police said the children added names to the list due to "them being mean and not nice to them."
On the same day the boy was arrested, investigators arrested a 12-year-old student at Eastern Heights Middle School. A police report details how the student made a list of classmates to kill. A teacher reported overhearing a child ask the student to "show me the list of people that you want to kill."
Last Thursday, at the same middle school, officers arrested a 14-year-old female student who stated she was going to "shoot up the school," according to a police report. Police said the Eastern Heights Middle School principal went to retrieve the teenager's backpack after she got into a fight at school. Reports state the principal observed a notebook containing a "hit list" with both student and teachers' names inside of her bag. According to police, the teen stated the list was something she and a friend "just wrote up."
"The message is this: it's very clear we will not tolerate any type of threats against any students or faculty at any of the schools," Costantino said. "Each one of these students was charged with aggravated menacing and making terrorist threats and taken to the juvenile home."
Elyria district school officials said they are proud of both students and staff who saw the alarming notes and reported the behavior. However, they encourage parents to continue teaching their children threats will always be treated seriously regardless of the original intent.
"When you say something in a threatening way or in some way that might make others feel unsafe, there are consequences to that and it's essential that parents relay that information and have those conversations at home," said Amy Higgins, communications and marketing director for the district.
Police said two of the children arrested in the incidents are related.