Macomb County middle school staffer arrested over alleged threats

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

St. Clair Shores — An employee at Jefferson Middle School was arrested Friday and placed on administrative leave after allegedly placing "inappropriate" notes around the Macomb County school, district officials said.

The employee, who was not identified, was arrested Friday afternoon after a school security camera apparently captured hand-written threats being left in three different teacher work areas, school officials said in a release.

“Administrators worked with law enforcement to quickly identify the alleged distributor of the notes through review of camera video footage,” said Lakeview Public Schools Superintendent Karl Paulson. “One of the notes appeared to be an attempt at making a false threat in the hope of closing school. Based on the facts, information and timeline, the team was confident everyone was safe, and there was no need for initiating any lockdown or other safety protocols."

Paulson added that the district takes "any potential disruption in our schools seriously." The staffer, he said, was arrested by St. Clair Shores Police. 

He declined to release further details, citing the ongoing police and internal district investigations. 

“This alleged behavior is unacceptable,” Paulson said in the district statement. “I am extremely disappointed in this alleged behavior by a staff member and can reiterate for all families that the police nor the administration viewed this situation as a safety concern because of the facts and timeline."

It is the policy of Lakeview Public Schools, he said, to not speculate or comment further on personnel matters while the police and internal investigations are ongoing.

“Finally, I want to assure families we will continue to investigate any information provided to us that may be of concern. Our schools stay safe when we work together. Remember, see something — say something.”

That urging to report threats has been repeated at various Metro Detroit school districts where officials and students have been put on edge by dozens of copycat threats of violence since the Nov. 30 shooting tragedy at Oxford High School.

A 15-year-old Oxford High student, Ethan Crumbley, faces 24 charges including four counts of premeditated murder in the incident in which four students were fatally shot, and seven other people wounded by gunfire.

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