End of the World, Post-Sandy Hook Threats Affect Fenton Area Schools
School shooting prank occurs at Grand Blanc East High School Wednesday. All Genesee County Schools closed Thursday and Friday.
Potential post-Sandy Hook threats and the hype surrounding Dec. 21 being the end of world have been spreading through Genesee County and the surrounding areas.
The threats led the Genesee Intermediate School District to cancel classes in all Genesee County Schools Thursday and Friday as threats of all kinds have been popping up in school districts across the state.
Local schools, including Lake Fenton and Fenton have stepped up security and have had an increased police presence in the days following the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Conn. There have been no reported incident or threats at those schools, but there have been several in the region and all Genesee County and Lapeer County Schools have been closed for Thursday and Friday.
A release from the ISD states:
"It is clear that last Friday changed all of us. As educators, we acknowledge, and we believe our communities would agree, that schools are at the center of concern right now. As school district Superintendents we have been in constant communication with one another and there are too many unique factors that have influenced our unanimous decision to cancel school and all school activities for Thursday, December 20 and Friday, December 21"
School Shooting Text is prank at Grand Blanc
On Wednesday, Grand Blanc Police were forced to respond to a report of a school shooting at Grand Blanc East High School. The parent of a 10th-grader at the school called police after she received a text from her son saying shots were fired and he was hiding in a closet, according to the Flint Police Operations Facebook Page. Another student made a similar text, but both turned out to be a hoax.
"Multiple officers responded, went to the classroom where that student was located and pulled him out and talked to him and he said it was just a joke," Grand Blanc Police Chief Steve Solomon told ABC 12.
The incident scared many students and staff members at the school, however.
“There may have been a time when something like that would have been ignored but coming right off of Connecticut, as I said, people are just very nervous and they're scared," Superintendent Dr. Norm Abdella told minbcnews.com.
There was also a rumored "student revolt" at Grand Blanc Schools to coincide with Dec. 21, the Mayan predicted end of the world, as the district posted a message on its website Wednesday stating that rumors had been spreading that students were going to bring weapons to school. The message stated that there would be extra security and more police presence.
"I looked on the Grand Blanc site, it said 'a student revolt'," said student Auntonio Roland, 15, according to the Flint Journal. "I'm like, we ain't planning no revolt. Why would we start a revolt when it's about to be winter break?"
Student with gun rumor at Lakeland
Rumors also spread of a student with a gun at Lakeland High School, reported White Lake Patch.
Reporter tries to enter school for story in West Bloomfield
A television photographer with WDIV Channel 4 testing school security in the aftermath of shootings in Connecticut caused West Bloomfield's Gretchko Elementary School to go on lockdown Monday, reported West Bloomfield Patch.
"With the heightened sense of concern after what happened in Connecticut, parents will want to know: is there someone out there that's trying to be a copycat? That was my concern. I think it was poor judgment. A story? Fine, but go to the doors and see if they're unlocked, then identify who you are. That kind of thing was inappropriate, in my opinion," Superintendent Gerald Hill said.
Fenton Patch reader reaction
Many Fenton Patch readers posted on the Fenton Patch Facebook Page that their children don't know the details of the Newtown shootings and they told them other reasons of why they didn't have school. Others were disappointed that children would miss holiday activities.
Eric McConnell posted, "It's a sad world we live in. Although I understand the caution, my daughter was crushed. She had her Christmas choir concert tonight and was very much looking forward to her school party."
Melissa Sementelli said, "See those are the sad things! Because of some punks the little girl above and many, many more are missing their Christmas festivities at school! My daughter was supposed to have her very first field trip ever today and now it's cancelled!"
How do you feel about the school closings and the threats? Tell us in the comment section below.
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