Clarkston student’s online post sparks probe

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Oakland County officials are investigating a Clarkston Junior High School student for allegedly using social media to threaten classmates.

Deputies learned Sunday that a 13-year-old eighth-grader had posted a picture of a handgun on an Instagram page and wrote: “Don’t show up for school tomorrow,” according to a statement from the county sheriff’s office.

Detectives identified the Independence Township teen, whose name has not been released. They also examined his social media post and “discovered pictures of long guns, knives, and what appeared to be an attempt to make some type of bomb,” sheriff’s officials said.

School officials and the student’s parents were notified. His father brought the boy to a sheriff’s office substation to be interviewed.

The youth said his post “was just a joke” and he “thought it would be funny to post a photo of the airsoft gun, which was placed on the floor next to his dog.” He added that a bottle bomb was an experiment he learned at school and was trying to duplicate, according to the sheriff’s office release.

Detectives confiscated the gun. The student is not allowed to return to school until further notice from the district, sheriff’s officials said.

Police “determined that the threat was not credible,” but the student remains suspended, said Rod Rock, superintendent at Clarkston Community Schools, on Tuesday night. “We thank our community for your diligence in this matter. Student safety is our first priority.”

The Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office is expected to review the case before determining any charges.