School, police investigating source of bullet at high school

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published February 26, 2018 | Updated February 27, 2018 10:09am

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Lake Shore Public Schools is investigating who may have placed a bullet in the weight room at Lake Shore High School, where it was discovered the morning of Feb. 26.


“Some kids were moving some weight equipment in the weight room and discovered a bullet that was underneath the mat,” Lake Shore Public Schools Superintendent Joe DiPonio said. “We discovered some information that kind of led us to believe that a student had placed it there previous to (that) day. It may have been sitting there for a while.


“Obviously, we’re going to respond with the level of concern that matches what everyone is feeling right now, but the reality is I think this is a hoax intending to disrupt school functions.”


A press release from the St. Clair Shores Police Department identified the item as a 9 mm bullet. The school was put on lockdown while police were called in to investigate the matter.


“The students from the weight room were isolated in the gym until the police arrived,” according to the press release from St. Clair Shores Police Feb. 26. “These students were then checked along with their bags or lockers. No weapons or other contraband was located.”


The day after the incident, DiPonio said that, unfortunately, it appears to be an ongoing trend. Several other metro Detroit school districts were locked down or closed recently for stray bullets found in schools and threats.


“I think this is just kind of the landscape that we’re dealing with right now,” DiPonio said.


The district has “an idea” of the students that were involved in the incident, he said.


“It’s going to be dealt with firmly. We’re not going to let this climate of fear that exists right now be capitalized by opportunistic students ... to disrupt the learning process,” he said.


Once the student alerted a teacher, Lake Shore High School administrators were alerted and the police were called. The school was put on lockdown as a precaution, with students confined to the classrooms that they were currently in, while the investigation commenced.


That lockdown was lifted before 11 a.m., and normal school operations resumed with a higher level of security, including a plainclothes police officer on the scene in addition to the school’s regular police resource officer.


“Our school is no more dangerous than any other school in America,” DiPonio said. “Whether we’re talking about Lake Shore, Lakeview, De La Salle — we’re all in this together to provide a safe environment for the kids.”


The investigation is still ongoing.