Oakland County school threats: 42 prosecutions in past year, challenges to have most lockdowns, more

School threat stats revealed as 1-year anniversary of Oxford High School shooting nears

A school bus.

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. – Officials in Oakland County outlined some grim statistics about school threats over the past year, saying they have prosecuted 42 cases and even witnessed instances in which students participated in challenges to see which district could have the most lockdowns.

The Bloomfield Hills School District issued a release Monday (Nov. 14) following a school threat that canceled classes at Ferndale High School and Ferndale Middle School. A 16-year-old girl was arrested, joining dozens of others who have been caught making threats.

“As we near the one-year anniversary of the Oxford High School tragedy on Nov. 30, our hearts continue to be with those in our own community and across the county who have been impacted,” the release says. “We want our primary focus to be on supporting our community through this difficult anniversary.”

Officials in Oakland County have seen school threats increase exponentially in the past calendar year, which is common after a major shooting.

Between shooting/bomb threats written on walls, posted on social media, and spoken verbally, the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office has charged 42 cases over the past year. In the year prior to Nov. 30, 2020, there was only one such case charged by Oakland County prosecutors, they said.

“Social media posts have included challenges to see which school district can have the most lockdowns,” the release says. “After making verbal and written threats, students often insist the threats are jokes, or that they were just seeking attention.”

Officials said the threats scare students and staff members and disrupt the learning atmosphere.

District officials in Bloomfield Hills said threats can result in suspensions or expulsions.

Students can also be charged with making a terrorist threat, which is a 20-year felony with a possible $20,000 fine.

Here are some recommendations from the district:

  • If there are weapons in your home, please make sure they are safely secured and stored. Be aware that no weapons are ever permitted in school, including things like pocket knives.
  • Know your child’s code to access their electronic devices.
  • Regularly monitor your child’s electronic devices for inappropriate photos and searches.
  • Monitor social media accounts. The age to open an account is 13 on all social media platforms.
  • ProtectYoungEyes.com is a great start on how to go about protecting your child online.
  • Consider downloading an app to help create parental controls on your child’s technology.
  • Anyone can report tips confidentially to OK2SAY, Michigan’s anonymous reporting system, by calling 855-565-2729, texting 652729, downloading the OK2SAY app, or emailing OK2SAY@mi.gov.

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.