The Athens County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to The Athens Messenger that Trimble High School was evacuated by law enforcement for a bomb threat Tuesday, in what is allegedly part of a larger spate of bomb threats in the area.
Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith told The Messenger that law enforcement, including the Sheriff’s Office, Glouster Police Department and Ohio University Police Department bomb-sniffing dogs cleared the building around 11:30 a.m. Glouster Fire Department also took part.
No bomb was detected, Smith said.
Students were released for early dismissal. Trimble High School or administration did not respond to requests for comment by publication time.
Smith said the FBI had informed his office of the threat, and that it was part of a larger series of bomb threats throughout the southeast Ohio region.
The Cincinnati Field Office of the FBI did not immediately respond to requests for comment, as the media personnel was indisposed when contacted.
Last Friday, Waterford local schools in Washington County was dismissed for a bomb threat, WTAP reported.
Bomb threats against schools are becoming increasingly common in Ohio, according to Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives data.
According to 2016 ATF data, bomb threats against schools had increased 33% since 2014. Ohio was the state with the third most bomb threats, following Illinois and Texas.
Smith said his office will pursue local charges where possible. He added that bomb hoaxes place unnecessary strain on local first responders.
“It just ties up a lot of resources and induces panic, and causes a lot of stress on the police departments, the fire departments, even the FBI and the students who are missing school,” Smith said.