Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has issued a video about the seriousness of making school threats, which have been on the increase since a shooting at Oxford High School killed four students last month. The Michigan Department of Education will be sharing the video with school districts.
“In recent weeks, threats of violence have been reported at schools across Michigan,” Nessel says in the video. “Local law enforcement agencies have reported threats on social media that number in the hundreds within their own communities. As a result, kids in our state have missed valuable days of instruction as school administrators are forced to close buildings to keep kids safe. Whether these are real threats made by those intent on doing harm or pranks made by kids trying to get a day off, they are real crimes with real consequences.”
Nessel explains the potential charges for threatening violence, which include:
- communicating a threat of terrorism, 20-year felony;
- calling in a bomb threat, a four-year felony;
- malicious us of a telecommunications device, a six-month misdemeanor; and
- threatening violence against school employee or student, a one-year misdemeanor.
“Threatening the lives of students and staff, whether with intent to harm or simply to disrupt, is an outrage, particularly in the wake of the tragedy in Oxford,” State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice said. “Our students and staff should feel safe in our schools, and anyone that threatens that safety should be subject to swift and significant consequences.”
The video can be viewed on the Department of Attorney General’s YouTube page.
If you receive a threat or know of a threat of violence against your community, you should contact your local law enforcement.
You can also leave a tip with the state’s OK2SAY hotline by calling 8-555-OK2SAY (855-565-2729) or texting 652729 (OK2SAY). The hotline operates 24/7 and protects the confidentiality of the reporter’s identity.
OK2SAY, which is housed within the Michigan State Police, provides for confidential reports of potential self-harm, harm to others, or criminal acts including, but not limited to, sexual abuse, assault, or rape, directed at students, school employees, or schools in Michigan.