Students in at least 4 states are facing charges for threatening violence

Oxford superintendent defends decision to return accused shooter to class on day of tragedy
By: | December 6, 2021

A handful of students were arrested in recent days for threatening violence in the wake of last week’s deadly shooting at Oxford High School.

In neighboring Wayne County, which includes Detroit, seven female and male students have been charged with bringing weapons to their schools or threatening violence, the Detroit Free Press reports.

In Alabama, three high school students were arrested in Dallas County for bringing loaded guns to school after authorities received an anonymous tip. A 15-year-old in Mobile was arrested after posting threatening on Instagram to ‘shoot up’ a middle school and high school, reported.

Fights and bad behavior: 2 more reasons schools are going remote these days

A student at Bristol Borough High School in Pennsylvania was arrested Monday after being accused of making a shooting threat, reported. The Bristol Borough School District on Monday closed the building, which also includes a middle school, and will increase police presence when it reopens Tuesday.

Police in Camden County, North Carolina, uncovered a credible threat on Friday that a group of middle school students was planning to attack classmates on campus, Camden County Schools administrators reported on Facebook. Officials have made contact with the students involved and Camden Middle School was closed Monday as the investigation continued. No students were harmed, the district said.

Safety concerns shut down more schools

Meanwhile, after several districts in Michigan and elsewhere closed during parts of last week due to online—and so far, unfounded, threats—several more schools closed Monday and Tuesday due to ongoing safety concerns.

Hamden High School in Connecticut was closed Friday due to a threat and closed again Monday and Tuesday after receiving a second threat made online, the district said on its website.

Police credited students with alerting the community to the threats, the New Haven Register reported.

The school will reopen Wednesday with heightened safety measures, Superintendent Jody Ian Goeler tweeted.

Greensville County High School in Virginia held a remote learning day Monday after police and school officials learned of a threat to the building and were working to determine its credibility.

And in Minnesota, Sauk Rapids-Rice Middle School was closed Monday as local police investigated an online threat, the Sauk Rapids Herald reported on Facebook.

More revelations in Oxford

In the Detroit area, Center Line Public Schools canceled classes Monday on the recommendation of police who were still investigating a threat made on social media on Saturday, Superintendent Joseph L. Haynes said. “School districts are struggling with the number of social media posts that threaten violence and disrupt the educational process of schools,” Haynes said. “A significant number of districts have been forced to cancel school in the last week, Center Line is no different.”

Elsewhere in Michigan, the Fruitport, Grand Haven, Royal Oak and Waterford districts remained closed Monday. In Macomb County outside Detroit, County Prosecutor Peter J. Lucido announced a zero-tolerance policy for threats made against schools. In the two years prior to the Parkland school shooting in 2018, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s office processed an average of 17 charges of false threats of terrorism annually. In the year following Parkland, over 100 charges were brought, Lucido said on Facebook.

And Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has offered to help the Oxford Community School District investigate “the events leading up to” Tuesday’s shooting that killed four students.

On Saturday, Oxford Superintendent Tim Throne said the district would move for a “third-party review of all the events of the past week because our community and our families deserve a full, transparent accounting of what occurred.”

In a letter, Throne defended the district’s decision to allow accused shooter Ethan Crumbley to return to class after a teacher referred the teen to administrators over concerning drawings and written he’d made the morning of the shooting. Counselors who spoke with Crumbley while waiting for his parents to arrive did not observe any behavior that indicated he was planning to harm students or staff.

During discussions with counselors, the parents did not report that Crumbley had access to a firearm. Counselors ultimately told the parents, who have since been arrested on charges of involuntary manslaughter, that they had 48 hours to find counseling for Crumbley or Child Protective Services would be contacted. The incident was not reported to the principal or assistant principal, Thorne said.

“When the parents were asked to take their son home for the day, they flatly refused and left without their son, apparently to return to work,” Thorne wrote. “Given the fact that the child had no prior disciplinary infractions, the decision was made he would be returned to the classroom rather than sent home to an empty house.”