Two RCS schools enter lockdown after student finds ‘suspicious note’

Students released from lockdown after Sheriff’s Office deemed threat ‘not credible’

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published December 8, 2021 | Updated December 20, 2021 2:51pm

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ROCHESTER HILLS — Two schools in the Rochester Community Schools district were placed in lockdown Dec. 8 after a student found a suspicious note in the girls’ bathroom at Stoney Creek High School, officials said.

RCS Superintendent Robert Shaner said the student reported the information to “a trusted adult.” 

School administrators, in coordination with local law enforcement, immediately initiated an investigation and “out of extreme caution,” Shaner said, placed Stoney Creek and nearby Hart Middle School in a partial lockdown — where no one could enter or leave the building.

Shaner sent an email to district parents at around 12:30 p.m. Dec. 8 alerting them to the activities. 

“All students and staff are safe; there is no cause for alarm at this time,” he said in the email. “The safety and security of our students and staff is always our priority, and we take all perceived threats very seriously. All members of our school community should experience an environment where they are safe, valued and respected.”

Shaner said the district was “acting with urgency and intention” to continue to investigate the situation, noting that “appropriate corrective actions will be taken, and those responsible will be held accountable.”

“We are extremely proud of the student who reported the incident and encourage parents to continue to remind their son or daughter to talk to a trusted adult if they see or hear something that does not seem right,” he said in the email.

At around 1:30 p.m. the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office released a statement saying it was alerted by school officials at Stoney Creek High School in Rochester Hills that a note containing “disturbing language” was found in a restroom on campus that afternoon. 

“At this time we do not believe that this is a credible threat, however out of an abundance of caution deputies are on scene investigating and school officials are following their protocols to ensure the safety of students and faculty members,” the Sheriff’s Office said in the statement. 

At around 3 p.m., the district sent an email to parents noting that the Sheriff’s Office had provided the district with an “all-clear,” indicating that Stoney Creek High School and Hart Middle School were secure and all students and staff were safe.

“The perceived threat at Stoney Creek High School was determined not to be credible,” Shaner said in the email. 

Evacuated students were allowed to return to the building to collect their belongings, but Shaner said transportation would likely be delayed throughout the district. All evening activities and events at Stoney Creek High School and Hart Middle School were canceled.

“We encourage all parents or guardians to talk with their student. Making threats of violence can have serious consequences that could change a child’s life and your family forever,” Shaner said in the email. 

Shaner said the Rochester Community Schools will “prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone associated with school violence, threats of school violence, or the malicious destruction of school property.”

The Sheriff’s Office said “anyone that makes these kinds of threats will be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office urged anyone with information about the note to contact (248) 858-4911. 

Students and families are also encouraged to talk to a trusted adult if they see or hear something that doesn’t seem right. They can also use the Talk to Us feature on the district’s website at www.rochester.k12.mi.us, or anonymously report information using OK2Say at (855) 565-2729.

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