MHS Deals Swiftly with Threat

http://www.classreport.org/usa/mi/highland/mhs/

Karen Danner, Staff Writer

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Over the weekend of Feb. 20th- 22nd, a Milford High School student made a gun threat over Kik, a social media app. The 14-year old freshman claimed that he was going to shoot up the school like the Columbine incident in 1999.

Going back to April 20th, 1999 in Littleton, Colorado, Columbine High School was targeted by two of its students, 18-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold. They arrived at Columbine High School, dressed in trench coats and in separate cars around 11:10 a.m. and placed two duffel bags in the school’s cafeteria, each containing a 20-pound propane bomb that was set to detonate at 11:17 a.m. After the bombs were placed, they went back outside to wait in their cars. When the bombs didn’t explode, they grabbed guns from the back of one of their cars and began a shooting spree that ended around noon killing one teacher, 12 students and then themselves, and leaving more than 20 others wounded. 

The Milford HS freshman’s threat wasn’t taken lightly by one of the students who received the message and she showed it to her parents. The student’s parents called the police and an investigation began.

“Gun threats are taken extremely seriously,” Milford Police Liaison Eric Delanoy said, “We investigate as much as possible and then decide how to handle the situation.”

The police went to the boy’s house and took him and his parents into the station for questioning, also removing several guns from the house. No one knows if he would have carried out his threat or not, but he had the equipment to do so.

Brett Myers, the Dean of Students, answered, “Schools take this kind of thing very seriously. With all of the security procedures, the new policy changes and how often we practice lockdowns, we’re trying to prevent anything from happening.”

The problem is that many students don’t understand how serious it is to make a threat, nor do they understand the consequences of it. “Some students understand how serious it is, but then there are the ones that don’t,” Myers stated.

The administration stressed that students understand any threat online will be taken seriously.

“Students need to realize that this isn’t something to joke about,” added Eric Dziobak, one of Milford’s assistant principals.

“We need to make the student body aware of how serious it (making threats) is,” Delanoy said.

If found guilty of threatening to endanger or harm students, there could be serious jail time- up to 20 years for the student.

Schools want students to know how serious threats are. It doesn’t matter if the threat is a joke or not, by claiming that you’re going to do something, you risk putting others in danger.

Not long after the threat was made by one of Milford’s freshman, a Hartland student texted his friend claiming that someone was going to die. The boy who received the text didn’t recognize the number and he reported it to the staff. Deeming that the threat was serious, the school went into ¨shelter in place¨ mode, similar to a school lockdown. The student that sent the text came out and said that it was a prank, but that doesn’t excuse him from making such a claim.

“If you hear anything- even a whisper- about something this serious, it has to be taken seriously. You’re almost an accomplice by staying silent.” Myers stated.

Delanoy stressed the importance of contacting an adult in this type of situation.

“If anyone ever sees something (on the internet) that threatens another (person), you have to come forward. Once it’s on the internet it never goes away; it’s always going to be there.” Delanoy added, “If you’re at home, tell a parent and call 911. If you’re at school, contact the police liaison and the school’s administrators.”

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