“LCCC campus security is currently working with the Elyria Police Department and the FBI to find the source of these threats,” LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., said of the three threats that rocked the Elyria campus recently.
LCCC is not alone in these threats. Five other Ohio schools and universities have received bomb threats since the beginning of 2022. According to the ATF and FBI, about 5% of bomb threats in the United States were to schools and universities, with threats having increased by 33% since 2014.
In 2018, there were 285 bomb threats to educational facilities with 19 being to colleges and universities. This has seen a sharp increase since then. A study conducted in 2015 found that most bomb threats have been made more frequently via electronic tools on international proxy servers. And, of the 800 violent school threats made, more than 70% included bomb threats. Also in 2015, more than 46 states received bomb threats, with Ohio being the number one recipient.
All the worry and fuss have left some students and staff feeling losses both academically and financially.
Margo Solis, a graphic design major, said that she was lucky enough not to be on campus during the threats.
“The whole situation just made me super anxious,” said Solis. “I was genuinely afraid that it would turn into a ‘boy who cried wolf’ situation. The threats would keep happening, we’d let our guard down and then BOOM.”
As anxieties rang high for some, others suffered scholastically. With the campus evacuated and classes canceled for an entire week, students who took in-person classes took a hit.
“I waited for the campus to be back open again after the pandemic,” Zander Taylor, a first-year student, said. “I prefer in-person classes since it’s easier for me to learn in person. So doing it all online wasn’t pleasant for me.”
For some students, like Taylor, they rely on in-person classes. “Academically, I took a real hit. It was difficult since I have issues with internet access at home. I’m a little behind because of the bomb threat.”
“I think the school took the right precautions; they did what they had to do. They’re doing their job, I don’t have to appreciate it, but I do have to accept it being a student here.”
The bomb threats did not just harm the education of the students, they had negative effects on the staff and faculty as well.
“We took a hit,” Tara Porter, an employee at the Marketplace Subway, said. “With campus closed, I missed a week’s worth of a paycheck and had to waste product.”
Making terroristic threats is a felony in the third degree.
If you see anything suspicious or have any information, please contact Campus Security at 440-366-4043.
Lauren Hoffman, editor-in-chief, contributed to this report.