MASON, OH (FOX19) – Several Mason parents are on alert after receiving a school notice saying, “MHS students have shown signs of suicide, and have access to a firearm.”
A few parents say that something seemed a little off when they dropped off their children at the high school Monday morning.
“This morning I actually drove my daughter to school and I noticed the police presence,” said Susan Taylor, a parent in the district.
The Public Information officer for Mason City Schools, Tracey Carson, says they have increased security since the recent Florida school shooting. However, the extra officers were also at the high school following up on two reportedly disturbed students, one of whom had access to a gun.
“We had been getting tips about a student who was at risk for self-harm and who we’d had reports also has access to a firearm. Because the rumors were starting to flow we wanted to share with parents what we could,” said Carson.
That prompted a safety alert, which was sent out to the high school parents saying:
Today we are investigating situations where M-H-S students have shown signs of suicide, and have a firearm.
Carson says there wasn’t a specific threat against the students or the school. The alert still caused a brief panic for some parents.
“I was hoping that nothing would happen at Mason High School. It’s a little scary with everything going on. I just want to make sure that the kids are safe and that nothing happens,” said Amanda Schramm, whose daughter goes to the high school.
The school district has had five suicides since 2008. Carson says they are working to be more proactive to help with prevention.
“In today’s day and age we’re going to look carefully when we see students who are at-risk of depression, or at-risk for suicidal behavior and also take extra steps to make sure our schools are safe,” said Carson.
Carson says that the district’s SafeSchools Alert tip line has been helpful. So far this year it’s helped to resolve 55 incidents, half of which were suicide related, she says.