STEUBENVILLE - The city school board of education held a brief reorganizational meeting Wednesday evening under the scrutiny of national, regional and local media but did not comment on the investigation or growing national focus into an alleged 2012 rape of a 16-year-old Weirton girl by two Steubenville High School students.
The official public comments will come today when Superintendent Mike McVey will sit down for a series of one-on-one interviews with media outlets.
The annual reorganizational meeting lasted 15 minutes, and McVey declined comment on the alleged rape story until today.
School board members also declined comment referring all questions to McVey.
During the meeting, board members approved the hiring of Sharon Travis of Administrative Counseling Services. McVey said Travis will provide counseling in the schools, "as needed and will coordinate her efforts with the community."
The board also approved the employment of Jefferson Security in an emergency situation to provide security at the city schools following a shooting threat posted on Facebook on Tuesday. A lockdown was initiated shortly after 8:30 a.m. Tuesday after City Police received a phone call from the mother of a city school student.
According to the police report, the student had stayed home sick Tuesday and "observed a threat on his Facebook page that was originally a Tweet from KnightSec that stated the kids who have not been charged in the rape case were to come to a certain location or 'I am going to start killing people.' The juvenile further stated that he tried to access the Tweet again but it had disappeared."
Police searched all city school buildings and determined the threat was not credible, and the lockdown was lifted shortly before 10 a.m.
Steubenville Police Chief Bill McCafferty said Wednesday a multi-agency investigation into the threat is ongoing.
In other matters, Edward Littlejohn was elected board president for 2013, and Ruth Ann Bruzzese was elected vice president.
In other business, the board:
Approved Richard Angelica as a substitute teacher.
Approved two BEST Practice Grants of $800 each for Wells Academy and Steubenville High School.
Approved an invoice from Eastern Gateway Community College for dual enrollment.
Accepted a donation of toys from Dr. Alison Grinski for East Garfield Elementary.
The board also appointed Bill Hendricks to serve as a liaison to the Ohio School Boards Association's Urban School District Advisory Network and as the OSBA legislative liaison for 2013.
Bruzzese was appointed to serve as the OSBA student achievement liaison for 2013.
(Gossett can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)