Metro Detroit School Districts Cancel Classes Over Social Media Posts
Following an Oxford high school shooting that left four students dead, several school districts in Metro Detroit are canceling classes Thursday amid reports of social media posts that some interpreted as a threat similar violence, officials said.
The Troy School District said Wednesday night it became aware of a Snapchat message “where a Rochester student speculated about a rumor of a threat to a school in Rochester or Troy. A similar message is being broadcast in Oakland County. replacing “Troy” with the name of another district, “spokeswoman Kerry Birmingham said in an emailed statement.
“Law enforcement investigated this situation and determined that the rumor was not valid. However, other rumors of threats began to circulate, causing fear and anxiety among parents, students and staff. . “
The district chose to cancel classes as well as all programs and activities “to be very careful,” Birmingham wrote.
“We understand the very real pressure and fear our students feel and know that our parents and staff are affected as well. We are very grateful to the students who brought this to our attention. It was absolutely the right thing to do so that we could work with the authorities to investigate and take the appropriate action. “
At the end of the school day on Wednesday, schools in the Holly area “received several reports of a potential threat of shooting at schools in the Holly area which had been posted on social media,” triggering an investigation with the Holly Police Department, officials said in a statement.
Through interviews with students who shared the messages, investigators found “no source for the original threat, but instead several second and third hand reports of individuals sharing what they have. heard others say, “the statement said.
While there were no credible threats, classes are canceled Thursday and Friday “in view of the extraordinary circumstances”.
Bloomfield Hills Schools also cited online publications for its closings scheduled for Thursday.
“The safety and security of our students is our top priority,” said Superintendent Pat Watson. “We are in constant contact with Bloomfield Township Police who take every report or rumor seriously. We will contact you tomorrow with any updated information.”
Rochester Community Schools plan to close their campuses for teaching, preschool, early childhood, special early childhood education, adult transition program and services, and evening activities on Thursday, have announced officials. The Caring Steps RCS Children’s Center will remain open.
“Nothing is more important than the well-being of our school community, and we are committed to doing everything possible to ensure the safety of students and staff,” the district said.
“Rumors have been circulating on social media that other high schools may be at risk of experiencing a similar tragedy to the one that recently occurred at Oxford High School. At Rochester Community Schools, we take all threats very seriously. seriously. All rumors continue to be fully investigated by our local law enforcement agencies. While there do not appear to be any credible threats at this time, we are suspending in-person learning and virtual for the day in excess of caution. “
Warren Consolidated Schools announced on Facebook that it would be closed Thursday with extracurricular activities, but did not explain why.
Earlier Wednesday, Superintendent Robert Livernois said in a statement: “I encourage all of us to strengthen in our children that if they SEE SOMETHING, TELL SOMETHING to a trusted adult. Together we are safer when we are together. let’s share information. “
News of the closures came hours after 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley was charged in connection with Tuesday’s incident and the Oakland County Middle School District reported media reports alleging a shooting imitated planned for other schools.
An unfounded threat also closed Mott High School in the Waterford School District on Wednesday, Superintendent Scott Lindberg said in a video posted to Facebook.
The district “closely monitors all communications and social media,” he said.
“We were able to discharge our students safely and efficiently while we completed our investigation. Now the threat has finally been determined not to be credible. But this was an example of the effectiveness of security protocols and procedures. that we have put in place. “
Earlier Wednesday, Michigan State Police Lt. Col. Chris Kelenske, who chairs the Michigan School Safety Commission, said administrators statewide had received planning documents and resources from information to help them assess potential threats and implement preventative measures to mitigate threats.