Plymouth-Canton Community Schools closed Friday after threat triggers 4-hour lockdown

Law enforcement comb school after report of gun; no weapon ever found

A threat at the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park sent three high schools into lockdown for nearly four hours on Thursday as officers went from classroom to classroom searching for a gun.

CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A threat at the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park (P-CEP)sent three high schools into lockdown for nearly four hours on Thursday as officers went from classroom to classroom searching for a gun.

Multiple law enforcement agencies swarmed the complex. A gun was never located, but as a result the district has decided to cancel all classes and programs on Friday.

“We have information that there was a weapon seen by a student reported to security,” Canton Township police Chief Chad Baugh said.

No shots were fired and no injuries were reported. Once police had determined the buildings were cleared the students were dismissed in stages.

Many students and parents felt stress and concern from the situation, especially after the horrific mass shooting last week at Oxford High School.

“I said, ‘You are not going to school tomorrow. I don’t care what you say, you are not going,’ because she’s an eager beaver. She wants to go and don’t want to get behind in her classes or studies. I said, ‘I don’t care. You’re not going tomorrow,’ and if Plymouth-Canton does not shut these schools down tomorrow, they are wrong,” a concerned parent said.

Shift to virtual learning next week

Superintendent Monica Merritt followed up late Thursday stating the P-CEP campus will move to virtual learning next week, Dec. 13-17, and won’t return to in-person learning until Jan. 3.

“We are writing to provide more detailed information regarding the situation that occurred today at Plymouth-Canton Educational Park (Canton HS, Plymouth HS, Salem HS) that resulted in a campus-wide lockdown. At approximately 1:40 p.m., all buildings within P-CEP were put into lockdown due to an unconfirmed report of a gun on campus. After immediately being notified by school administration, law enforcement officials conducted a thorough search of every classroom and office space in all P-CEP buildings before clearing the buildings for the safe, supervised release of students and staff. We want to confirm that there were no weapons found on the P-CEP Campus today and there were no injuries to any students or staff.

As we communicated earlier today, all P-CCS schools and programs will be closed on Friday, December 10. Our Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle School, Starkweather Academy, and Post-secondary programs will resume in-person learning on Monday, December 13. The P-CCS Virtual Academy will resume its regular programming on Monday, December 13 as well.

We have made the decision to provide instruction virtually for our P-CEP students next week, from Monday, December 13 through Friday, December 17. We will plan to resume in-person learning at P-CEP on Monday, January 3 following Winter Break. A more detailed communication about next week’s schedule and expectations will be provided to P-CEP students and families in a follow-up communication from P-CEP administration. An announcement regarding after-school activities and athletics for Friday, December 10 will be made by Noon tomorrow.

We would like to express an overwhelming sense of gratitude to our local, state, and federal law enforcement officials and first responders for their immediate support, both on-site and behind the scenes, to ensure the safety of our students and staff at all times. Their quick response, preparedness, and professionalism led the way for us to maintain composure and control of our environment throughout this crisis.

We are also extremely grateful to our teachers, staff, and school security team, for their professionalism in maintaining a sense of stability and calm throughout the afternoon. The supportive environment created by our staff allowed our students to feel safe and cared for, reflecting exceptional implementation of years of training for emergency situations. We want to applaud our students for their perseverance and cooperation, as experiences like these can be traumatic.

We will continue to support law enforcement as they take the lead in the investigation of this matter.

I am incredibly proud of how our community came together to ensure the safety and well-being of our students and staff. Thank you for your continued support of Plymouth-Canton Community Schools.”

Monica L. Merritt

Read: More school threat coverage

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