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    Plymouth-Canton high schools to go virtual next week following Thursday lockdown over threat

    Plymouth-Canton Educational Park students to learn remotely Dec. 13-17

    Police investigating a possible threat at the campus of Plymouth-Canton high schools on Dec. 9, 2021. (WDIV)

    CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Three high schools in the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools district will shift to virtual learning for one week after a Thursday threat triggered a four-hour lockdown at the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park (P-CEP).

    On Thursday, Canton High School, Plymouth High School and Salem High School -- which together make up the educational park’s campus -- were sent into lockdown for nearly four hours following an unconfirmed report of a gun on campus, officials said. Several law enforcement agencies responded to the incident and searched the buildings for a weapon.

    “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,” Superintendent Monica Merritt wrote late Thursday. “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.”

    Authorities say no shots were fired on the campus Thursday.

    More: Students dismissed after lockdown at Plymouth-Canton high schools for threat investigation; Schools closed Friday

    Following the incident, all schools within the Plymouth-Canton district are closed on Friday, Dec. 10. Superintendent Merritt announced Thursday night that the three high schools within P-CEP will shift to remote learning for the week of Dec. 13-17, and will return to in-person learning after winter break on Jan. 3, 2022.

    All other programs will resume their regular learning schedule on Dec. 13, officials said.

    The investigation into the threat is ongoing. Police have investigated hundreds of school threats over the past nine days following a shooting that left four students dead and seven people injured at Oxford High School.

    Here is Superintendent Merritt’s full statement from Thursday night:

    “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 Merritt

    More: School threat coverage


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