Monroe County District Attorney Michael G. Roehrig has a stern warning for those who copy school threats, a weird and dangerous phenomenon sweeping through suburbs of Detroit and beyond: You will be severely punished.
“Sadistically, maybe they think it’s funny. Maybe they see it as a way out of school for a day or two. But it’s a crime,” Roehrig said in a statement. “The crime of intentionally threatening to commit an act of violence with a dangerous weapon against a school, students, school staff or property is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Members of the law enforcement community take these threats seriously and work together to find these people.
Roehrig noted that nearly 30 lives were lost due to shooting incidents on school grounds in 2021.
“There have been 21 school shootings since August,” he said. “The murder of four teenagers on Tuesday at an Oxford high school is just one example of the ‘epidemic’ of gun violence in the United States.”
Roehrig wrote that the shock and fear of the shooting around 100 miles north of Monroe County is hard enough for communities to endure without the addition of senseless threats.
“And then there are the imitators,” he said. “People who threaten to kill and maim, to frighten, to disrupt. Even in the face of incredible tragedy, these people pursue evil rather than good. “
About 80 Michigan schools have closed amid imitation threats following the Oxford shooting. Across Monroe County, authorities reported a handful of incidents that quickly caught the attention of school administrators and subsequently involved law enforcement.
To Ida, a student made a threatening comment while on a district school bus. The Monroe County Central Shipping was contacted within 10 minutes of the report and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.
In a letter to parents posted on the district’s website, Superintendent Sandy Krebs said the student had been identified and was being confined to his home.
“Ida Public and the Sheriff’s Department take all threats seriously,” Krebs wrote in the letter. “Please reassure your children that we are doing all we can to keep our schools safe.”
Krebs wrote that after law enforcement reassured the problem was under control, the school was allowed to remain open.
Dundee Community Schools Superintendent Edward Manuszak said he saw a recent article on social media informing the district that a high school student could harm other students.
“Our high school administration and our school resources manager investigated a situation that made it clear that this was not a credible threat,” Manuszak said. “The accused student never stated this and did not publish this information. We are now investigating further the perpetrator of the threat and why they allegedly disseminated this message.”
And to Bedford Public Schools, Superintendent Dr Carl Shultz informed parents that a social media post had been created by a former student that mentioned the threat of a school shooting.
However, Shultz noted that the threat was directed at the suspect’s current school and not at Bedford.
“BPS leadership and our partners in the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department do not believe there is any connection with the district,” he wrote. “For the foreseeable future, we will be working with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department to strengthen the patrols available on and around our district campuses as an added safety measure.”
Other school districts have published letters recalling the Oxford tragedy or reminding students and others that even occasional threats will be taken very seriously and treated as crimes.
John Krimmel, Superintendent of Airport community schools, said he continued to urge parents to have conversations with their children regarding the danger of making online or verbal or written threats of any kind. Recent incidents, he added, have cost many children and families precious days of school and work this week.
“We’ve all learned or confirmed the value of being able to attend school in person over the past two years,” Krimmel said. “Please know that while we work to keep children in school and safe, threats will not be tolerated. The airport is working diligently to investigate all rumors and situations that may be threatening . While most of these threats are not credible, we are investigating any threats that are known to us. “
TO Schools in the Milan areaSuperintendent Bryan Girbach released a statement on the district website on Friday.
“Every threat, no matter how small, is illegal and is investigated by schools and law enforcement,” he wrote. “Threats to the safety of our schools are never a joke, and law enforcement and school leaders will take action to protect our community, including and until prosecution.”
Girback asked parents to talk to their children about the seriousness of making or sharing threats, and to report any threats seen on social media.
Roehrig warned that violators will be charged criminally.
“The prosecutor’s office will prosecute offenders and use the full weight of the criminal justice system to hold them accountable,” he wrote. “Think before you act. Think about the consequences of your actions. If you want to be unique, if you want to be remembered, do something right.
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