A day after copycat threats closed more than 60 schools on the state’s east side, the number of school closures statewide increased to more than 100 districts on Friday, including several in West Michigan that were closed “out of an abundance of caution.”
Fruitport Community Schools closed its doors on Friday “due to a threat of violence against the school,” according to the district’s website. The district’s Early Childhood Center is also closed, and employees have been asked to stay at home.
According to Ionia Public Schools, the threat that compelled the district to close schools on Friday was directed at the middle school.
The district is working with law enforcement to investigate and called off classes Friday. Ionia County Career Center also closed Friday because of the threat made against Ionia Public Schools.
In Allegan County, Wayland Union Middle School shifted from in-person classes to remote learning as a precaution because of a threat, according to the district website. The district superintendent said an investigation is underway and “nothing has been substantiated.”
Big Rapids Schools even closed its doors on Friday after learning of “a potentially concerning statement” made by a high schooler on Thursday. According to the district’s website, that situation is also being investigated.
Chippewa Hills School District in Mecosta County also revealed to News 8 that it will be closed Friday due to a threat.
Watervliet Public Schools in Berrien County closed Friday “out of an abundance of caution.” According to the superintendent, a message outlining the reasons was sent to district parents.
According to Detroit NBC affiliate WDIV, more than 80 districts in the metro Detroit area canceled classes on Friday.
Earlier this week, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard issued a warning that anyone who makes threats will face prosecution.
The Genesee County prosecutor officially confirmed that he had charged a 17-year-old Flint Southwestern Classical Academy student with one count of false threat of terrorism and one count of using a computer to commit a crime.
According to the prosecutor, the teenage girl videoed a “rap-style message” on her phone in which she threatened to “shoot up the school ‘like Oxford.'” The video was then shared on social media by the 17-year-old.
The prosecutor stated that he has visited schools throughout the county in recent years, warning students that they will be prosecuted if they make threats, credible or not.
The Flint student faces up to 20 years in prison on both felony charges.