Police investigate three separate school threats

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published April 26, 2023


ROCHESTER HILLS —  Three separate threats to local schools were investigated recently.

Deputies received information of a school threat from the parent of a student at 6:41 p.m. April 3 who told police there was a Snapchat circulating indicating that a ninth-grade student was “going to shoot up the school” on April 4.

Deputies contacted the student alleged to have made the post. That student told deputies other students in his class told him to post on Snapchat for students not to go to school the next day, so he did. There was no mention or threat about violence, just not to go to school. As the Snapchat post began to circulate, someone reportedly added threats of violence.

The post shown at the original complaint had all the user information blacked out.

The student does not have access to weapons, police said. Deputies said the investigation revealed that there was no credible threat.

On April 5, the Reuther Middle School principal was told by two students that they had overheard a 12-year-old sixth grade student say that he was going to shoot up the school sometime before March 24, when the district went on spring break. They had no explanation as to why they waited so long to report the information, according to reports.

Deputies conducted an investigation, including a home visit and interview of the student and his mother, and found no evidence of a credible threat. Deputies said the incident will be handled by the school district and a report presented to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office for review. The investigation revealed that there was no evidence of a credible threat.

The Avondale Middle School resource officer became aware, via the school principal, of a 13-year-old male student from Auburn Hills who had threatened to shoot up the school April 5. The threat was directed at a teacher. An investigation was conducted, including a home visit and interview of the student and his mother, and deputies determined the student has an emotional impairment and has had outbursts in the past. A threat assessment was conducted by the school. Officials said the student will not be back at school pending the outcome of this incident, which remains under investigation.

Deputies said the initial investigation revealed that “there is no imminent threat to the school or staff, and that the student has no means to conduct the threat.”

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said his office takes every threat seriously and fully investigates all of them.

“We have been inundated with threats all across this county,” he said in a public service announcement. “We need every student to understand, if you make a threat, whether or not you 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 be attached, so I repeat, any threat is a crime, whether or not you think it is a joke, because it is not a joke.”

Bouchard also encouraged students to continue to share information with their parents, teachers and police.

“We will do anything and everything to keep you safe 24/7, but every student and 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. You will probably be more likely to see or hear than the police department, so if you do, you need to share that information with the police department, with your parents, with your teachers so that it can be quickly and fully investigated. If you hear or see something that makes you afraid, or threatens the safety and security of you, your school or anyone else, you need to share this information,” Bouchard said in the PSA.

“Rochester Community Schools is committed to ensuring the safety of our students, staff, family and guests,” RCS Superintendent Robert Shaner said at a recent event. “Nothing is more important than the well-being of our school community.”