Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 21, 2018

MP Middle School investigates second threat this week

Superintendent encourages parents to speak with kids about ‘joking’ comments
May 25, 2018

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News

 

For the second time this week, a threat made by a student against the Mt. Pleasant Middle School was investigated.

A remark considered a possible threat to the safety of the school made from one student to another prompted an investigation by school officials and the Mt. Pleasant Police Department Thursday, May 24 at 8:45 a.m.

The student who made the statement was identified and admitted the statement to the police saying it was meant to be a joke. The police department’s investigation included an interview of the student’s parents and a search of the residence.

According to a news release, no items of concern were found, including no firearms. The student was removed from school and criminal charges are pending.

The school district said they will continue to work with local law enforcement officials and legal counsel to determine appropriate disciplinary action.

Mt. Pleasant Community School District Superintendent John Henriksen said the threat was taken seriously and that the student who reported the threat “did exactly what we hope students would do.”

“It’s always concerning,” Henriksen said. “The safety of our students is absolutely the number one priority. That’s why we’re going to take it seriously when we hear things and we’re going to investigate property and get to the bottom, so we have the best information possible.”

The student who reported the second threat followed the “see something, say something” motto Henriksen advised students to employ following the threat Monday. Henriksen said any student who hears something potentially concerning should seek out an adult they trust.

“Whether it’s a teacher, school administrator, para professional, give them the information and we’ll handle it from there,” Henriksen said.

This was the second threat made by a student at the middle school this week. The Federal Bureau of Investigations received a complaint about a student referencing violence against the school in a YouTube video Monday, May 21.

While the threatening statement was “vague,” the Mt. Pleasant Police Department interviewed the student and their parents. The student admitted to the statement and said it was meant to be a joke.

The Mt. Pleasant Police Department has increased patrol around the middle school this week, sending an officer each morning from 7:50 to 8:20 a.m. as students arrive on campus.

With the end of the school year approaching, parents are encouraged to speak to their children about the serious nature of comments threatening the safety of schools, the school district or other students, even if those comments are meant to be in jest.

“Students tend to think these things are a joke because there’s so much of that going on, but the school takes it seriously,” Mt. Pleasant Police Chief Ron Archer said.

Henriksen mused that local law enforcement will be invited to speak with students and parents when the school year resumes in the fall about school safety and how any threat, even said in jest, is a serious offense.

Ltn. Lyle Murray said the police department tries to do a school patrol every day so they’re visible around all the schools.

Criminal charges are pending for both students.

These threats come on the heels of a school shooting in Texas on Friday, May 18 that left 10 dead and a reported 10 injured.

This Friday, May 25, a shooting at an Indiana Middle School has reportedly left two injuried - a teen and an adult. The shooting occured at Noblesville West Middle School, 25 miles northeast of Indianapolis. More information on this shooting can be found in today’s edition of The News.

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