Chippewa Valley student arrested, charged for social media post interpreted as threat

By: Joshua Gordon | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published March 7, 2018

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP — A Chippewa Valley High School student was arrested March 2 at the school after posting a photo with a gun on social media that was interpreted as a potential threat for the school.


Clinton Township Police Capt. Richard Maierle said an 18-year-old student had visited a gun range sometime before the arrest and rented a gun that resembled an AR-15. Maierle said the student took a picture of himself with the gun and posted it on Instagram with a caption about being the "next school shooter."


According to a letter from Chippewa Valley Schools Superintendent Ron Roberts to parents, the district received word from a parent about the social media post by the student and they notified the police.


Maierle said the police department has a school resource officer at Chippewa Valley High School and he pulled the student from class and made the arrest. The police went to the student’s home, Maierle said, and his mother was cooperative in letting them search the home with no guns being found.


"(The student) said it was a joke," Maierle said. "The mother was very cooperative and we could not find any weapons."


The student was arraigned March 5 at the 41-B District Court in Clinton Township on one charge of a false report of a threat or terrorism, which is a 20-year felony. He was also charged with the misuse of a telecommunications device, a misdemeanor. Bond was set at $150,000 cash or surety.


Court officials said March 7 that no attorney has been assigned to the student yet and his next court date is a probable cause hearing scheduled for 8:30 a.m. March 19. A preliminary exam hearing is also tentatively scheduled for 8:30 a.m. March 26.


In Roberts' letter to the parents, he said while the student said his posting was a joke, students need to think before making any kind of social media post or saying something that comes off as a threat.


"This incident is a reminder that bad decisions carry serious consequences, and I encourage all parents to talk with their children to remind them of the importance of making sound choices whether in the classroom or on social media," Roberts said.


The Macomb County Sheriff's Office investigated two potential threats in February at Dakota High School in Macomb Township. A message about using a gun at the school was posted in a bathroom while several students reported a student who said he had a gun.


No gun was found and both incidents were found to not pose a credible threat.