Souders on lockdown last week

By Lenny C. Lepola -

Hylen Souders Elementary School was locked down last week while police dealt with a possibly suicidal teenager.

About 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, Souders Principal AJ Hoffman received a call from local police that they were in communication with a possibly suicidal teen in the general vicinity of Souders.

Hoffman said a decision was made for everyone to remain inside the building — to assure the safety of the students — until the situation was resolved.

“This was communicated to all staff and a quick check of all doors to the outside was completed to assure the only entry to the building was through being buzzed in at the main entrance,” Hoffman said later that day. “We also communicated the situation to parents and the community through our all-call system as well as email and text via Eagle-i.”

Hoffman said the Big Walnut school resource officer was present for all mid-day arrivals and departures to assure the students’ safety.

Hoffman received notification around 12:15 p.m. that the teen had been taken into custody. An all clear was communicated to teachers, and Souders sent an update to parents and community members that all had returned to normal.

“I want to recognize all staff involved for their efforts to minimize the impact on our students,” Hoffman said. “I believe many students went home today having no idea that these events had transpired.”

Hoffman said the minimal impact of the event on the students could be attributed to the manner in which the staff conducted themselves.

“I’m very appreciative of the support of our school resource officer, Deputy Snyder, and our central office staff,” Hoffman said. “The actions of all involved assured the safety and well-being of our students while maintaining minimal disruption.”

Hoffman added during a brief phone interview that the teenager was several miles from the school, and the school itself was not targeted. He said he is pleased that the teen was in custody and getting help with a personal crisis.

By Lenny C. Lepola

Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093

Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093