Threats target schools in Metro Detroit, nationwide

Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

Federal and local authorities have linked social media threats that targeted several Metro Detroit school districts and a growing number of other schools nationwide, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.

“We have confirmed the exact same threat to several schools in Detroit, Warren, Ann Arbor, San Francisco, California and Tallahassee, Florida so far,” officials said. “We continue to work with all of these law enforcement agencies and the FBI. We have no suspects at this time.”

Sheriff’s officials in a press release detailed a threat that closed Lake Orion High School Monday after a student reported a message received around 9:30 p.m. Sunday on the KIK text messaging application. The unnamed student living on the 1200 block of Parkland Road received a message stating “Lake Orion High Shootout! Don’t come to school this Monday January 25, 2016.”

Later Sunday, the sheriff’s operation center received several calls from parents concerning the same message about Lake Orion, transmitted via Facebook and Twitter.

Lake Orion High School closed Monday as detectives began investigating the source of the threat. Other district schools remained open.

Meanwhile, University Prep Schools in Detroit also closed Monday after a threat came in via Instagram near midnight Sunday, mentioning the charter school system by name, CEO Mark Ornstein told The Detroit News on Monday.

In Warren, Lincoln High School of the Van Dyke Public School system also closed Monday due to a threat, according to school officials.

In Detroit, Cass Technical High School remained open Monday despite an “alleged threat” made against the school, Detroit Public School officials said on its Facebook page.

District spokeswoman Michelle Zdrodowski connected the threat at Cass to those issued to other local school systems.

“We weren’t alone in this,” Zdrodowski said.

Van Buren Public Schools also remained open Monday after its schools were targeted by an alleged social media threat, officials said.

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