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Macomb Township

December 21, 2012

Drawing causes Dakota lockdown amid already increased security

By Robert Guttersohn
C & G Staff Writer

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Dakota High School was placed on lockdown Dec. 18 for about an hour after a threatening drawing was found on a bathroom wall.

Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said Dakota administration placed the school on lockdown after a student discovered a drawing of a gun with the words “bang, bang” written next to it.

Investigators did a quick search of the school but turned up no actual threat.

“We went on scene, and again, we’ve been dealing with these for many, many years,” Wickersham said. “Now what we’re trying to do is figure out who did the drawing.”

The threat came amid already increased district-wide security, following the Newtown, Conn., shooting on Dec. 14. Wickersham  did not believe the drawing was linked to the Connecticut shooting.

“It’s poor timing, if you ask me,” he said. “But we’ve had, again, ever since (the school shooting in Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., in 1999) different graffiti and writing on walls inside schools.”

Diane Blain, the director of school and community relations at Chippewa Valley Schools, said students were told to remain in their classrooms until the end of the school day, but they were allowed to walk around the classroom.

“We want parents and students to know we take it seriously, whenever we find something like that,” Blain said.

CVS Superintendent Ronald Roberts said district administrators met the weekend following the shooting to discuss their security response.

“As administrators, we are faced with challenges all the time, and sometimes challenges take a turn that are hard to imagine,” Roberts said at the Dec. 17 board meeting. “And this was one for everyone.”

Throughout last week, the district closed all perimeter doors throughout the school day, according to a CVS email to parents. The district used substitute teachers to monitor the schools’ main entrances. At the entrance, visitors were asked to show identification before being allowed to enter the building and were asked the purpose of their visit.

All classroom doors were locked while in session, and there was no outdoor recess for the week. Roberts told the Chronicle that there was no decision on when the extra security would be lifted.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Robert Guttersohn at rguttersohn@candgnews.com or at (586)218-5006.