Four Elyria School Children Charged With Terrorist Threats After Making Hit Lists

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click to enlarge Four Elyria School Children Charged With Terrorist Threats After Making Hit Lists
Emanuel Wallace

Four children from an Elyria middle and elementary school were all arrested less than a week after a large knife and hit lists were discovered. Police are charging the children with aggravated menacing and/or making terrorist threats.

Scene obtained the police records stating that on April 19, police arrested a 14-year-old girl who claimed she was going to "shoot up the school." The girl had gotten into a fight at Eastern Heights Middle School, and the principal observed a notebook in her backpack featuring a hit list of both student and teachers' names.

Five days later on April 24, a 10-year-old student brought a steak knife to school at Franklin Elementary and concealed the weapon in her backpack. Thankfully, another student noticed the knife and reported the incident to their fourth grade teacher.

Upon further investigation, it was discovered that a second 10-year-old boy had been working in tandem with the girl, going as far as to write a list of students they claimed to want to "stab to death." The children were adding the names of other children to the list for "being mean" and "not nice" to them. A school janitor later found the list after it had been thrown into the trash.

That same day, an incident was reported at Eastern Heights Middle School, where a 12-year-old was arrested on similar charges. A teacher overheard a conversation between the student and another classmate where the arrested child was asked to, "show me the list of people that you want to kill."

Later that day, Elyria Schools sent out an automated message district-wide to all parents around 6 p.m. encouraging them to talk with their children about these threats and these incidents.

A quick Facebook search of "Elyria Hit List" brings up countless discussions between parents expressing concern about these children's alleged lack of parenting, the lack of teacher involvement in what appears to be a bullying situation and a lack of psychological resources for children struggling with the school experience.

Due to the young ages of all involved in these incidents, it begs the question, "Why?" After the Parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February, Psychology Today released a study regarding the correlations between mental illness and school shootings.

According to the study, "mental health problems have pretty much been skyrocketing in our nation across the past few decades." These illnesses include depression, anxiety and anger issues. The study continues by clarifying, "This observed pattern is not exclusively the result of over-diagnosis. In short, our nation is getting less and less mentally healthy with time."

Police reports also state two of the children arrested in these incidents are related. All three of the children are currently residing in the Lorain County Juvenile Detention Center.

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