‘A good way to ruin your life’: Series of fake threats target schools across Michigan

At least 9 schools around Michigan receive false threats

Huron High School in Ann Arbor on Feb. 7, 2023. (WDIV)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan State Police said they have received a series of fake threats targeting schools across the state, including in Ann Arbor and Detroit.

“While some may consider it a joke, it is a good way to ruin your life if convicted of a false threat of terrorism,” Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said in a release. “Making false threats is a serious crime, and those responsible will be prosecuted.”

State troopers are investigating each threat. As of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 7) they had received information about false threats to the following schools:

  • Huron High School in Ann Arbor
  • Renaissance High School in Detroit
  • Portage Northern High School in Portage
  • Okemos High School in Meridian Township
  • Nouvel High School in Saginaw Township
  • Jackson High School in Jackson
  • Benton Harbor High School in Benton Harbor
  • Muskegon High School in Muskegon
  • Battle Creek Central High School in Battle Creek

MSP said multiple law enforcement agents report the caller has a heavy accent. The caller claims to be a teacher, states the school’s name, and gives the address.

The caller reports that a student has shot another student at the school, and then gives a room number that doesn’t exist, according to officials.

“Whether these are real threats made by those intent on doing harm or pranks made by kids trying to get a day off, they are real crimes with real consequences,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “It’s critical that adults and students alike understand the seriousness of these threats and the criminal charges they could face.”

Police are calling this a “coordinated campaign targeting K-12 education facilities in Michigan.”

There are no known credible threats to schools in Michigan, authorities said. Click here to report incidents in your jurisdiction.

Huron High School in Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor police officers were called at 8:44 a.m. Tuesday to Huron High School.

The caller claimed to be a teacher and said on the non-emergency line that there had been a shooting at the high school. When the call was transferred to 911, the purported “teacher” said a student had shot another student inside a classroom, according to authorities.

Officers got the school within minutes of the call and found no threat. The classroom number used by the caller does not exist, police said.

The call is being investigated as a “swatting” incident meant to spur aggressive action from authorities.

“We want to remind the public that a false report of a crime is a very serious offense,” Ann Arbor police said in a release.

Jackson High School

Officials with Jackson Public Schools said there was a lockdown at Jackson High School, but it has since been lifted.

Officers with the Jackson Police Department gave the all-clear after a “hoax call” from an unknown Google number, according to district officials.

Police arrived at the school within minutes of the call and determined that the threat wasn’t credible.

Jackson High School students and staff members were released early. Buses arrived at 10 a.m. Tuesday, and parents can pick up students.

“We understand that this situation was concerning and scary for all involved,” Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Beal said in a statement. “Please talk with your students about today. We will have counselors on hand tomorrow when we return to the building.”

Okemos High School

Meridian Township police officers and firefighters were called around 9 a.m. Tuesday to Okemos High School.

Officials said a caller reported an active shooter at the school. When police arrived, they found no imminent threat.

Students were deemed safe, and the building was secured, according to authorities.

School officials arranged to release students to their parents.

No additional information about the threat has been revealed.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.