Bathroom threat occurs at Novi Meadows Sixth Grade House

By: Charity Meier | Novi Note | Published November 21, 2022

File photo

NOVI — Sixth grade students were forced to evacuate Novi Meadows Elementary School Nov. 16 after yet another threat was found on a bathroom wall at a Novi school.

This threat was to “bomb the school,” while in the two prior incidents at Novi High School the threat was to “shoot up the school.”

The students were evacuated to the two nearest elementary schools while police went through the building with K-9 units.

“Today, our Novi Meadows students did an amazing job evacuating and following directions from their teachers,” said Ben Mainka, Novi Community School District superintendent, in a message to district families.

Novi Police Cmdr. Jason Meier said that the investigation into the incidents is “tedious” and time consuming as school resource officers will go through every inch of footage from hall cameras near the bathroom that day.   

“(Cameras are) not (located) in the bathroom, just in the halls outside, so if the camera’s in a good spot you can get a view of who’s going in and out (of the bathroom),” said Meier. “We then have to identify everyone who went in and out (of the bathroom) and try and find them and talk to them. It is a tedious process.”

Meier acknowledged that there have been a lot of similar incidents throughout Oakland County and said, “It’s a growing trend.” He has no idea why it is a trend.

He said that as of Nov. 17, police don’t have a suspect in the incident.

“It’s unfortunate some of these kids, whether they think it is a joke or just don’t want to take a test, or get out of school, or whatever they want to do, and it’s very disruptive, but we’ll continue to work. And these kids that continue to make these decisions to post threats or things, there’s serious repercussions that could impact the rest of their lives, and I just hope parents have these discussions with their kids about that, because kids can be charged with serious crimes when they do that stuff,” said Novi City Manager Pete Auger. “It’s very disruptive, but I do know that we will work with the proper authorities and turn in the paperwork. They’ve got to realize that it’s not a joke. It’s not a prank. It’s very serious.”

A Novi High School student is now facing charges for allegedly writing a threatening message on the school’s bathroom wall on Halloween. Mainka said the district will process all students and people who threaten the school, as this behavior will not be tolerated. He then reminded parents in his message that parents can potentially face prosecution as well, if their child engages in criminal behavior, and cited the Oxford High School case.

“I cannot stress enough the responsibility of talking with your kids and helping them understand that this is not funny and could have potential lifelong consequences,” Mainka said. “We have dedicated staff prepared to help if your child needs support, feels stressed, anxious, or that they need an outlet for their feelings. Resorting to this type of behavior is not worth the cost.”

There have been numerous bathroom wall threats throughout school districts in Oakland and Macomb counties. This includes three at Farmington High School, and four in the South Lyon School District, including one on Nov. 16 at South Lyon East High School.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard posted a video message to students throughout the county as a result of the numerous threats the county has faced over the last few months. He called for students to notify authorities if they see or hear something that could possibly harm a school.

“Every student and or teacher is probably in a position to see or hear something they think is of concern as it relates to a threat or their safety,” said Bouchard. “(Students) will probably be more likely to see or hear it than the police department, and so if you do, you need to share that information with your parents, with your teachers, so that it can be quickly and fully investigated.”

Bouchard and Mainka said the county and the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office have been inundated with threats. Bouchard said every student needs to understand that if they make a threat, regardless of whether or not they intend to carry it out, it is a crime.

“Every threat will be investigated, and every threat will be presented to the prosecutor. Every threat will be treated as the crime that it is, and we will attempt to hold you fully accountable. You more than likely will be immediately removed from school and potentially criminal charges may attach,” Bouchard said. “So, I repeat any threat is a crime, whether or not you think that it is a joke, because it is not a joke. It terrifies people. It causes great anxiety and fear. We want us all to get back to the situation where all you think about is going to school, learning and having a great day there. This community has been through far too much, real and otherwise, over the past months to ever accept this kind of behavior.”

“The school has and absolutely will take extreme action in these cases. Students who threaten the school will be subject to long-term suspension of up to a year or permanent expulsion,” said Mainka.

Mainka said that the district has help available for anyone who is concerned, needs help, or sees anyone who needs support. He said the district has “incredible counselors and social workers to help students through these difficult challenges.” He said that they should reach out to the school office if they need counseling or support.

Tips can be reported confidentially to OK2SAY, Michigan’s anonymous reporting system, by calling (855) 565-2729, texting 652729, downloading the OK2SAY app, or emailing