LANSING — Attorney General Dana Nessel has issued a video highlighting the seriousness of making threats against schools.
The video will be distributed by the Michigan Department of Education and is in response to the numerous students charged for making threats following the deadly Oxford School shootings on Nov. 30 that killed four and injured seven others.
“In recent weeks, threats of violence have been reported at schools across Michigan,” Nessel said. “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.”
In the video, Nessel said that the potential charges someone could face if they make a threat of violence could include communicating a threat of terrorism, which is a 20-year felony; calling in a bomb threat, which is a four-year felony; malicious use of a telecommunications device, which is a six-month misdemeanor and threatening violence against a school employee or student, which is 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.”
If anyone receives a threat or knows of a threat of violence against their community, they are encouraged to contact local law enforcement.
Residents can also leave a tip with the state’s OK2SAY hotline by calling 855-565-2729 or texting 652729 (OK2SAY). Both hotlines operate 24/7 and protect the confidentiality of the reporter’s identity.
OK2SAY also provides for confidential reports of potential self-harm, harm to others or criminal acts, including sexual abuse, assault or rape, directed at students, school employees or schools in the state.