HAMILTON, Ohio — The attorney hired to defend a Lakota East High School student accused of threatening the lives of classmates says his client was bullied.
Defense attorney Rob Dziech asked a Butler County Magistrate if the court would allow his client to return home with his parents. The request was denied pending a hearing to determine whether the teen poses a threat to himself or others.
“What I can tell you about my client is that he has absolutely no record. I believe that the people at the school would indicate that he is well behaved that he is a quiet and shy young man,” Dziech said.
Dziech said the school district has launched an investigation into the bullying claims.
Investigators also said the 15-year-old was “being picked on” at school.
“Unfortunately his outlet was to put something like this on social media, which is a bad thing to do,” Lt. Morgan Dallman with the Butler County Sheriff’s Office said.
Lakota East Principal Suzanna Davis said officials could not comment on the case due to student privacy rights, but said any allegation of bullying at the school “is investigated fully.”
“Beginning in kindergarten through senior year, students participate in programs to proactively address bullying,” Davis said in a written statement. “Part of this education involves encouraging students to report any instances of bullying they experience or witness so that district officials can intervene in the best interest of the student. This is an issue we take very seriously.”
The teen is charged with making terroristic threats. Dallman said a parent saw the Snapchat video and brought it to police.
In the video, the teen said he would “get a hit man and assassinate several kids,” Dallman said. In the video, he named three students and referenced 10 others. He also said he would hire someone to put the dead classmates “in a blender.”
“It is a serious charge, but you can’t say stuff like that these days,” Dallman said. “We have to take threats seriously.”
Davis said “there is no threat to the safety of East students.”
Dziech said the student was not expelled or suspended from school.