Ann Arbor Public Schools to close Friday amid possible violent threats

Ann Arbor Public Schools will close on Friday out of "an abundance of caution" amid ongoing threats. (Pexels)

ANN ARBOR – Ann Arbor Public Schools announced on Thursday night that it will be closing all school buildings and canceling all after school activities on Friday after receiving numerous reports of threats of violence.

The district said it was acting out of an abundance of caution to threats made on social media that mention Ann Arbor and other area schools.

“While these posts have not been determined to be credible at this time, the volume is quite high,” wrote AAPS Superintendent Jeanice Swift in an email to the school community. “Closing schools will allow school administrators and law enforcement an opportunity to investigate all reported concerns. It will also allow us to reset our AAPS learning environments that were significantly impacted today by rumors and concerns stemming from social media chatter.”

Read: Ann Arbor high schools addressing ‘concerning social media posts,’ allowing students to go home

AAPS is one of many Metro Detroit districts to shutter its schools on Friday in the aftermath of Tuesday’s shooting at Oxford High School that left four students dead and several others wounded.

Swift said the district is working with the Ann Arbor Police Department, University of Michigan’s Department of Public Safety and Security, the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office and others to coordinate “real-time safety support” for local schools, adding that the FBI and Michigan State Police are actively monitoring threats on social media.

Swift also asked parents to discuss the severity of making or sharing threats online with their children.

“Law enforcement and school leaders will investigate every threat and take whatever action is warranted to protect our students and community, up to and including prosecution for those responsible,” she wrote.

Read: Ann Arbor Public Schools, police talk safety following Oxford High School shooting

She encouraged parents and students to share any concerns they have with school staff, and reminded the community that the district’s anonymous reporting tool OK2SAY is available around the clock.

Reports can be made to law enforcement and the district by texting 652729 (OK2SAY), calling 855-5OK-2SAY or emailing OK2SAY@mi.gov.

Swift said the district looks forward to welcoming students back to classes on Monday.


About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.