Parents on alert after school board president posts controversial message

Local News

Parents in the Lakewood Local School District are expressing outrage, disbelief and disappointment.

This comes after the Licking County Sheriff’s office said it was contacted after the district board president, Stephen Thorp, left a message on his Facebook page that some felt was a threat against Lakewood High School. Kimberly Hite was very disturbed by what she saw.

“When you’re in a position of power, I don’t feel that you should put that type of thing on social media because you’re going to have a lot of backlash from it,” said Hite.

Shannon Swank is also a parent. She doesn’t understand why Thorp would think that was ok to post.

“We are all adults so there should be no conversations like that on social media,” said Swank.

The Licking County Sheriff’s Office gave NBC4 the screen grabs from Thorp’s Facebook page. 

Authorities said on April 22nd, district superintendent Mary Kay Andrews contacted them after seeing this post referencing a gun.   Investigators said Thorp and his cousin were having a conversation on Facebook following the district’s decision not to promote the vice principal of Lakewood High School to principal. 

Documents show his cousin Ron Caudell said on Facebook, “Steve do we need to bring the Caudell side of the family out on this?”

Thorp responded, “Bring your squirrel gun with you.”

It was that comment about a gun that sparked an investigation.  Authorities wanted to charge Thorp with “Inciting to violence”, but investigators said the prosecutor “did not see anything criminal.”

NBC4 called superintendent Andrews’ office twice to find out if Thorp is still on the school board. She never returned our calls.

Documents also show that Thorp said he did not intend to threaten anyone.  He said his comments were just a joke. NBC4 also reached out to Thorp.  He did not return our call.

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