Security guard at Ohio Jewish day school charged with making terror threats

“This playground is about to turn into a self-defense situation.”

By Dion J. Pierre, The Algemeiner

Authorities in Columbus, Ohio, have charged a man who threatened to commit a mass shooting at a Jewish day school with making terroristic threats, according to local reports.

On Friday, a CBS affiliate reported that Thomas Develin photographed himself holding a semi-automatic handgun, and posted the image on social media with the caption, “I’m at a Jewish school and about to make it everyone’s problem … This playground is about to turn into a self-defense situation.”

Develin, who said in a second post that he “wanted to shoot parents coming to pick up their children,” made the posts while working security at Columbus Torah Academy.

Arraigned on Friday, Develin’s bond is set at $1 million.

“For a security guard at a Jewish school to allegedly make deadly, terroristic threats is unthinkable,” commented the regional Anti-Defamation League division.

“For millennia, Jews have been threatened, intimidated, and persecuted,” the ADL continued. “This is yet another sobering reminder that antisemitism left unchecked breeds extremism and violence. Antisemitism has no place in Columbus, Ohio, or anywhere.”

Columbus Torah Academy told WBNS 10 that the campus faces no immediate threat. On Friday, the Columbus Division of Police assigned officers to the campus to supplement its security forces.

JewishColumbus, a group created in 2018 by the Columbus Jewish Foundation an the Jewish Federation of Columbia, called Develin’s posts a “cowardly act of intimidation.”

“For too long Jews have been mentally and physically intimidated in spaces online, at schools, universities, and in our communities,” JewishColumbus said in a statement. “We stand resolute against antisemitism and remain committed to safeguarding our institutions. It is our right to live peacefully as Jews and we will not cower to intimidation. Our Jewish community is here to stay and will not be silenced.”