There have been reports of “active shooter” false calls in several school districts in Ohio and elsewhere.

Columbus police say they received a call about a suspected shooting at East High School on Tuesday afternoon at 12:45 p.m. Police and firefighters responded, but found no threat. Soon, the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office received a call and was told that a similar situation was at Olentanga High School in Lewis Center. The building was evacuated, but the sheriff’s office later confirmed the call was a hoax.

Law enforcement in Dayton, Akron, Cincinnati, and Clermont County also received prank calls. But it wasn’t just an Ohio phenomenon; in Iowa, officials reported calls in as many as 30 counties.

The practice of “slapping” – the deliberate delivery of a false or misleading threat in order to elicit a response from emergency services – is illegal.

Following a wave of calls in 2022, Ohio legislators passed a law making such calls a felony in the fourth degree, with sentences of up to 18 months. An FBI spokesman said last fall that new technology allows the agency to track such anonymous calls.

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