MANSFIELD, Ohio (WCMH) –Tonight there was a packed auditorium at the Mansfield Senior High School full of students, teachers, staff, police and prosecutors.
They were all there to talk about the combination of threats this week in Mansfield.
Some have come in by phone, some were threats written on a bathroom wall.
They have shut down elementary and intermediate schools, and the high school.
They may have been a joke or a prank that led to all of the Mansfield city schools being closed today, but tonight no one was laughing.
“If you are the people who were thinking of making these threats (or) if you are the people who have been making these threats, know from personal experience it’s not funny,” said Mansfield senior Phinneas Stanfield. “You’re not cool. It’s not cute. ‘m not impressed.”
Tonight parents, students, faculty, police and prosecutors came to hear each other out.
So far, five students have been arrested and are in custody for this week’s string of Mansfield bomb threats.
Late this afternoon an 11-year-old girl was arrested.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re 10 years old, 40 or 50 years old. You’re going to be arrested” said Police Chief Keith Coontz. “You’re going to be incarcerated and we kept true to our word. It’s unfortunate, it’s heartbreaking as the parent of some young kids to have to do that but it’s necessary.”
Richland County Prosecutor Bambi Couch Page said the county is going to send a message.
“..these are not jokes, not hoaxes, not simple games that we’re going to play within the system,” Page said.
They are tired of the evacuations, the closures, and the hassle.
They want answers and if there are none, they want to know how to get them. Jeff Robertson said he just wanted to know what he can do.
“I’m sure everyone has always heard the saying ‘pay it forward,'” he said. “There’s something sitting on my shoulder. I just want to know what can I do to help.”
Most of all, they want it to stop.
“This is my senior year,” said Phinneas Stanfield. “I am here to learn and to get an education. You are ruining that for me by wasting my time and I do not appreciate it at all.”