OTTAWA LAKE, Mich. (WTVG) – A 14-year-old is boy is charged with making terroristic threats towards a local school.
The superintendent for Whiteford Agricultural Schools says the school administration investigated after a student made an inappropriate gesture in the classroom on Thursday. The district contacted authorities, who determined there was no credible threat to students.
Upon further investigation, the Monroe County Sheriff’s office determined there was a specific threat to Whiteford Schools. The district canceled the middle school dance and issued an alert to parents.
Superintendent Valerie P. Orr sent the following letter:
“February 24, 2018
Dear Parents, Staff, and School Community,
As Superintendent of Whiteford Agricultural Schools, I understand that our top priority is to provide a safe and secure learning environment for our students. The recent events in Parkland, Florida once again break our hearts and challenge us to assist our students in feeling safe while attending school. We take school security very seriously and recognize the changing landscape of school safety requires us to regularly train and practice safety drills with our students and staff. As your Superintendent, my number one priority is student safety. It is my goal to remain vigilant in protecting our students by arming myself with current best practices gained from regular participation in safety discussions with other area Superintendents and law enforcement officials. Your kids are our kids; we feel the same fears that arise when a safety concern crosses our mind. With that said, I think it is important to share with you that the safety conversation is an on-going conversation and we will continue to investigate and implement safeguards, protocols, and facility upgrades to keep our students safe.
On February 22, 2018, school administration was investigating a report of an inappropriate gesture by a male student in a classroom. The police were called upon immediately to assist the district with the investigation. At that time, school officials were advised that there was no credible threat to students at Whiteford. Whiteford administration and law enforcement continued to investigate the student on Friday, February 23, 2018. The investigation continued into the evening where a specific threat to Whiteford Schools was discovered. At that time, school officials cancelled the Middle School Dance and issued a Honeywell alert to parents. Since that time, Monroe County Sheriff’s diligently investigated the threats and have issued the following statement:
“Monroe County Sherriff Dale Malone is reporting the arrest of a 14 year old, male, Whiteford High School student for making terroristic threats towards a school.
On February 22, 2018, the staff at Whiteford High School contacted the Sherriff’s Office and filed a report regarding a suspicious incident involving a student making threatening gestures inside of a classroom.
Detective Mike McClain of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office took the investigation over. Detective McClain followed up with several leads and through the investigation he was able to obtain a juvenile pick up order through the Juvenile Court of Monroe County for the suspect.
On February 24, 2018 at about 7:00 p.m. the suspect was located at his residence and was taken into custody without incident. The 14 year old was lodged at the Monroe County Youth Center and is expected to be formally charged by the Monroe County Prosecutors Office on Monday.”
While we are prohibited from sharing any detailed information with you about the student who made the threat, please know that these threats are taken very seriously and are being addressed. We are thankful for the partnership we have with local law enforcement.
Monday starts a new week of learning for our Bobcats. Please talk to your children about the importance of speaking up if they see or hear things that may present a danger. Continue to monitor their social media as well as your own for any information that you feel should be shared with district administration or local law enforcement. A critical component of safety is our ability to work together for the benefit of our children.
Once again, Whiteford takes the safety and security of our students and staff very seriously. I want to assure everyone that any threat toward our district will be handled immediately and full prosecution under the law will be recommended.