CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Mahoning County prosecutors are leaving it up to the Canfield School Board to decide how to handle what police say was a mishandling of a school threat.
According to an investigation report into a September incident in which a middle school student threatened to shoot a classmate, it was determined by police that Superintendent Alex Geordan was misleading the school community about the severity of the threat.
“The report should speak for itself,” said Canfield Police Chief Chuck Colucci.
The Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office’s investigation into the incident found Geordan “made several deceptive statements, beginning with an all-call to parents” the day after it happened, the report stated.
Investigators say Geordan also sent text messages to school board members, admitting to downplaying the event by writing, “I truly hope this all-call doesn’t create issues for us. We intentionally downplayed it because it deals with a student making pour (sic) choice, as adolescents do.”
Middle School Assistant Principal Michael Flood was placed on a two-day suspension by Geordan in September following the incident for “failure to adequately investigate an inappropriate and threatening verbal altercation that occurred between middle school students at school,” according to a letter sent by Geordan about the suspension.
Geordan said Flood did not involve the school resource officer when he found out about the incident.
At the time, Geordan said Flood made an “error in judgment” and questions his “ability to maintain an environment that is conducive to learning and one that addresses the needs and wellbeing of all middle school students.”
Now investigators claim Geordan intentionally deceived police in reporting the incident with several “inconsistencies in his statements.”
After the sheriff’s review was finished, police and prosecutors agreed not to pursue any criminal charges, leaving the final say in the matter up to the school board.
“Outcomes, to me, that’s part of moving forward,” Colucci said. “Maintaining the relationship between the police department and schools. There is a memorandum of understanding in place.”
School Board President David Wilkeson said the situation was a “major f*** up” and that “you can’t spin things in public like that,” according to a police report.
The investigation was discussed at a school board meeting on Tuesday. Wilkeson had this to say:
“After an extensive investigation, the findings of the report establish that no criminal acts were committed by district personnel and further concludes that no charges will be filed against the Canfield Local Schools or any district official. Rather, the report recommends that the district develop a strategy to resolve the issues of the investigation.”