By Beth Milligan | December 5, 2021
Law enforcement will be present in all high schools of public schools in the Traverse City area (TCAPS) Monday “out of caution”, according to a letter sent Sunday to families in the high school in the west. The letter said the move was “not related to any new threat or information in West.”
In the aftermath of the Oxford High School shooting last week, West Senior High released a guide to the dos and don’ts of school safety after “inappropriate comments of a threatening nature were released. been shared among the students of our school “. Copying threats were reported in schools across the state after the Oxford shooting. âWe know that the experience at Oxford High School adds an emotional challenge for all students and staff,â West Senior High administrators wrote to parents. âEnsuring that students understand the importance of school safety will add another layer to the safety and well-being of everyone who attends West Senior High School. “
The administrators wrote that “Any comments made, whether verbally or in writing, will be followed up by both school administration and local law enforcement. Please discuss the importance of this topic with your child, because all threats of violence at school are taken very seriously “. School officials shared the following dos and don’ts:
> DO: Speak immediately if you see or hear anything worrying. Students can confidently tell a trusted adult at school or report confidentially through OK2SAY (text 652729 or call 8-555-OK2SAY). There are OK2SAY QR codes available throughout the school for use with a smartphone. Often, students think that the other student is “kidding” until it is too late. “If you see something, say something!”
> DO: Follow West’s simple safety procedures at all times; 1) be where you are supposed to be during the school day, 2) don’t ‘hide’ or congregate in bathrooms, locker rooms, etc., 3) only use main entrances / secure during the school day and don’t lean other doors open, even for people you know.
> DON’T: Make âjokesâ about violence at school or weapons of any kind, whether verbally or online (social networks, video game chats). These comments are taken seriously whether they are made at school or outside of school. This type of talk is unacceptable but is common nationwide after school shootings. This week, many Michigan schools were closed due to threats later deemed not to be credible. In each of these cases, the administration and law enforcement are required to investigate and even if they are not found to be credible, this can lead to academic discipline of students and potential criminal charges. Law enforcement has the tools to track down individuals who make threats, even from newly created or anonymous social media accounts. You can Find out how some of these ‘bogus’ threats played out in other states.
In a follow-up letter sent to families on Sunday, West Senior High noted that “we will have a law enforcement presence in all of our high schools, including West” on Monday, adding that the school system “will continue to partner. with the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Department and appreciate the proactive support they have always given to our schools. “