KENT COUNTY, MI – A 15-year-old is accused of making a social-media bomb threat at Lowell High School.
Kent County prosecutors on Thursday, Sept. 7, authorized a juvenile petition for false report or threat of a bomb/harmful device, a four-year felony, Kent County sheriff’s deputies said.
The boy, a Lowell resident, is not a student at Lowell Public Schools.
The alleged threat was made around 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 3, in an Instagram post, police said.
One of the sheriff’s school resource officers and school administrators learned of the threat at 10:46 a.m. Tuesday. The threat said something would happen at 11:41 a.m. Tuesday.
The high school went into a “soft lockdown,” with students and staff staying in classrooms and assigned areas, with brick walls making the rooms the safest place to be, a school official said.
Sheriff’s detectives, school-resource officers and a bomb-sniffing dog searched the building and grounds, at 11700 Vergennes St., a but found no evidence of a valid threat. Police gave the high school an “all clear” at 1:12 p.m.
Police used search warrants and interviewed the suspect within six hours of the initial report. Sheriff’s Sgt. Eric Brunner declined to divulge any statements made by the suspect.
He said in a statement that such social-media threats are made every year, with teens typically having no intention of following through.
“However, these types of threats create a substantial disruption in people’s lives, cause needless stress and worry amongst students, staff and parents. This is also substantial drain on public safety resources and is a safety issue for our community.”
He said the Sheriff’s Department takes “these threats very seriously.”
Superintendent Nate Fowler said in a Facebook post this week that he was grateful someone came forward with information about the threat.
He urged parents to monitor children’s use of social media.
“While social media can be a positive tool for communication, it is often at the root of difficult situations among today’s students.”
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