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8th graders, 9-year-olds threatened Waterford Township schools, police say

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Waterford Township police announced Wednesday they are investigating two eighth graders and a pair of 9-year-olds in connection with alleged threats against local schools.

In one case, a Pierce Middle School student told a classmate that "he brought a gun to school, and at one point made a threatening gesture with his hand, mimicking a shooting gun," police Chief Scott Underwood said in a statement.

Separately, administrators at  a charter school reported an eighth grader commented about a plan "if I was a school shooter," including the type of gun used as well as time and location, police said. "The student also made specific gestures mimicking a shooting gun."

Both students were taken into custody and held at Oakland County Children’s Village pending a hearing Thursday afternoon, according to the release.

On Wednesday, two 9-year-old students at Riverside Elementary were reported to have had a “naughty/nice” list with several names on each, as well as the words "alive” and “dead” on the side, police said.

Waterford Township Police Department

Both were transported to police headquarters then turned over to their parents. Juvenile petitions were expected to be submitted to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office for review of possible charges.

"It has been said by our department as well as other law enforcement officials across the country, and we will say it once again, we take all threats seriously," Underwood's release said. "Students who think this a way to be funny, or gain some kind of recognition from their classmates, are making a very big mistake."

The threats follow many after the shooting at Oxford High School on Nov. 30 that left four students dead as well as six others and a teacher wounded.

On Friday, Waterford Township announced the arrest of a 13-year-old boy who allegedly posted a social media threat against Mason Middle School. Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald charged him in Juvenile Court with "knowingly making a false report of terrorism," a 20-year felony in Michigan.

A second student has since been accused of threatening the middle school, township police said. 

That student faced a hearing Wednesday in front of an Oakland County juvenile referee and also was charged with knowingly making a false threat of terrorism. He is being held at Oakland County Children’s Village until his next hearing scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Dec. 21.

"It is imperative that parents have a serious conversation with their children," Underwood said. "They must be made aware that these types of behaviors will not be tolerated, that such behavior can be criminal, and that there will most certainly be severe consequences."

Similar threats have resulted in charges for as many as 18 youths in Wayne County, its prosecutor said Wednesday.