The last of the students charged in a series of school threats that prompted alarm in Springboro, Waynesville and Lebanon avoided additional jail time in his sentencing Tuesday in Warren County Common Pleas Court.
Andrew Stadler, 19, of Springboro, was ordered to do 40 hours of community service, remain on electronic monitor through the holidays and placed on three years on probation for making a bomb threat that prompted evacuation and the closing of Springboro High School on successive days in April.
Stadler, 18 at the time of the incident, was the only student charged in adult court.
“It came at a time where there were a number of threats made in the Springboro school district,” Assistant County Prosecutor Karl Harris said. “Obviously, they caused a lot of inconvenience, annoyance and alarm to the community.”
The other cases, involving students from 11 to 17, have all concluded in juvenile court.
On Tuesday, Judge Donald Oda II rejected the recommendation of a 90-day jail sentence from the county prosecutor’s office.
Prosecutor David Fornshell took the tough stance on the school-threat cases after more than 10 threats in April and May in the three adjoining Warren County school districts.
Stadler was also ordered to continue treatment for mental problems that apparently prompted him to leave the threat on a bathroom wall.
Oda acknowledged the need to send a message to students making such threats but decided Stadler would be better served by a sentence that allows him to begin college in March and avoid more time in jail.
“The whole purpose behind this was not to cause alarm and inconvenience,” Oda said. “It was because you had plans to commit suicide.”
Oda also noted Stadler underwent 21 days of in-patient treatment for mental problems after a two-day stay in the county jail.
In May, he was arrested following an investigation by local police and school officials, while other threats were taking place.
He already wrote letters of apology to more than 1,500 students affected by school officials’ decision to evacuate the school and close it on successive days in April.
“I’m really, really, really sorry,” he said at the hearing. “I’m sorry for not getting help when I should of.”
Athletic contests and other events and tests were delayed.
Stadler’s parents have already made restitution for the costs of responding to the incident. The school district calculated $1,289 in costs, including $864 for a contractor to check the school’s ventilation system.
Oda said he was not part of the decision to send the letters, but learned of them when one to his son — a special needs student — arrived in the mail.
Although this and the other threats were false, school and law enforcement had to decide how to protect the students and staff in the building.
“They don’t know what’s going on in your mind any more than they know for any of these individuals who do these kinds of things,” Oda said.
Oda also noted the county jail was overcrowded in explaining why he ordered no more jail for Stadler.