Arrest made after social media threat closes Warren schools

Other school closes due to threats this week

By: Brian Wells, Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published September 14, 2022


WARREN — An arrest has been made after a social media threat closed several schools in the Warren Consolidated School District Sept. 14.

School officials announced that morning that they were canceling classes at the district’s Cousino High School, Carter Middle School and Community High School for Sept. 14.

The closures were announced after Warren police contacted administrators after midnight about a threat that was posted on Twitter.

At approximately 12:30 a.m., threats were allegedly posted to Twitter stating that someone was going to “shoot up” Cousino High School at 8 a.m. Sept. 14, Warren police said in a press release. Other threats were posted against Carter Middle School in Warren and Community High School in Sterling Heights.

Warren police contacted Warren Consolidated Schools and the decision to cancel classes for the day was made out of an abundance of caution.

Superintendent Robert Livernois issued a letter on the district’s website about the threat.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the decision was made to close these schools today, including after school activities,” the letter states. “Despite the frustration of these senseless threats, our school safety protocols were initiated overnight, and we were able to respond accordingly this morning.”

Livernois reminded parents to encourage their children to share information with them should they hear or see anything suspicious.

In what the department is calling “standard practice for all incidents involving school threats,” Warren police launched an investigation. Through the investigation a juvenile suspect — a 13-year-old Warren boy — was identified and taken into custody at his residence without incident.

A search warrant was executed at the residence and several electronic communications devices were seized; however, no firearms were found, the department said.

On Sept. 15, Warren police announced that the suspect was being charged with one count of false report or threat of terrorism, a 20-year felony. He was denied bond and will remain in custody at the Macomb County Youth Home until his next court date, which has not been disclosed.


Other school closes due to threats in same week
Classes at Lincoln High School were canceled abruptly at approximately 9 a.m. Sept. 12 after Van Dyke Public Schools educators learned of a social media threat.

According to district Superintendent Piper Bognar, a student informed the school’s resource officer of the threat. In addition, another student and a parent let the high school administration know about the threat.

School officials “made the decision right away” to cancel school because of the threat, and parents were notified of the situation.

“I think they were thankful we let (the students) go home. We know we have a job to keep our students and staff as safe as possible,” Bognar said. “The investigation will continue to see if we can pinpoint (the perpetrators).”

School officials were unable to confirm the social media platform, but Bognar believes it was posted to an Instagram site. It’s unclear what the threat said, but it was not directed at one student in particular.

“I don’t have the exact threat. We don’t have any names, but we believe it was toward a specific group of Lincoln High School students,” Bognar said. “It said something about Lincoln High School.”

School officials don’t believe Lincoln students made the social media threat.

The threat reportedly was made against several Lincoln students who had attended a community league football game over the weekend at the district’s football field located on the school’s campus.

“It was a community event, not a school event,” Bognar said. “There was some kind of incident of students not getting along. (The threat) stemmed from the event.”

According to Bognar, several Lincoln students “might” be out of school during the investigation, but she would not comment further on the matter or confirm if they had been suspended.

“I can’t answer that,” she said.

After assessing the social media threat, school officials followed protocols to ensure it was safe for students to return to class the following day.  Classes at Lincoln resumed on Sept. 14.

“There were a few more absences than normal at the high school,” Bognar said.

School remained in session Sept. 13 for the district’s other schools, including Lincoln Middle School, the Kennedy Early Childhood Center, and the three elementary schools: Carlson, McKinley and Lincoln.

Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer said police were notified after the threat involving Lincoln was brought to the attention of staff and administrators there. He said the threat was under investigation by the Warren Police Department and did not release further details.