St. Clair Shores middle school teacher facing false report/threat of terrorism charge

Multiple handwritten notes left at teacher work areas, school leaders say

A St. Clair Shores teacher is accused of leaving threatening notes as she tried to get her school closed.

ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. – A teacher at Jefferson Middle School in St. Clair Shores is facing a charge of false report or threat of terrorism after a threat was made toward the middle school.

The teacher was arrested last week after St. Clair Shores police were notified about the threat by the Lakeview Public Schools district on Friday, Dec. 17. School leaders said multiple handwritten notes were left at three different teacher work areas.

Superintendent Karl Paulson said one of the notes appeared to be an attempt at making a false threat in the hope of closing school. Police said when they investigated they found that an employee of the school was responsible for making the threat. That employee was taken into custody.

Johnna Rhone, 59, was arraigned Monday in St. Clair Shores District Court on a count of making a false report or threat of terrorism, a 20-year felony. Bond was set at $75,000. Rhone has worked at Jefferson Middle School for 21 years.

Macomb County Prosecutor Peter J. Lucido said his office would take a “zero tolerance” approach to these cases.

“We promise to prosecute every one of these threats,” said Lucido. “That’s the only way you can get the message across. There will not be a walk. There will not be leniency.”

Related: Michigan schools tighten security in response to vague threats on TikTok

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism