American Township Police Chief Matt Redick deserves credit today for making sure the public understood what happened when a student carried knives into Elida Middle School.
Such is not always the case when local law enforcement agencies are asked about criminal cases. Too often details are questionably withheld by overly cautious detectives who are fearful about providing information to the public. As a result, misinformation and rumors circulate around a community.
Such does not have to be the case, as Redick showed.
He provided details of how a 13-year-old boy plotted to kill the principal and others Wednesday. The seventh-grader walked into the principal’s office with a a 4-inch long bladed knife in the front pocket of his sweatshirt and a box cutter in his right front pants pocket. Instead of carrying out his plan, though, the teen told the principal about his plot. He never tried to assault the principal and no one was injured, Redick said. The boy is to undergo psychological examinations.
Elida Schools also handled the incident well. Within hours after it happened, Superintendent Don Diglia posted a message to the Elida schools Facebook page telling people about the incident. Diglia said he wanted people to have the facts and to be reassured that “our administration and staff take the safety of your student, of all our students, very seriously.”Diglia listed his phone number and e-mail address on the post should anyone want to contact him.
A few Elida parents thought they should have been notified immediately. We disagree, given the student was in custody and school was about to dismiss.
Redick and Diglia’s thorough explanation came a time when people were starving for information. They should be commended for their actions.