In the wake of a deadly school shooting at Oxford High School on Tuesday, school districts across the area began announcing late Wednesday plans to call off classes on Thursday.
Superintendent Pat Watson of Bloomfield Hills Schools wrote in a memo time-stamped at 11 p.m.: "Over the past hour, BHS and other communities across the region have received numerous reports of threats of violence circulating on social media. Out of an abundance of caution, all BHS schools will be closed on Thursday, December 2, 2021. All after school activities are also cancelled."
The note, which appeared on the school website, said, "The safety and security of our students is our top priority. We are in constant contact with Bloomfield Township Police who take every report or rumor seriously. We will follow up with you tomorrow with any updated information. Please take care of yourselves and one another."
School districts that planned to close for at least one day include:
Bloomfield Hills School District
Holly Area Schools
Rochester Community Schools
Troy School District
Warren Consolidated Schools
Clarkston Community Schools
Lake Orion Community Schools
Walled Lake Consolidated Schools
Clawson Public Schools
Hazel Park Schools
Avondale School District
West Bloomfield School District
Lamphere and Madison District Public Schools in Madison Heights
Novi Community School District
Farmington (high schools only)
Oakland County has been in the global spotlight since the death of four students at Oxford High School that resulted in murder charges against the suspect Wednesday. Schools in that district are to remain closed through the rest of the week.
Law enforcement officials have said repeatedly in news conferences that reports of threats must be made and all will be taken seriously.
Troy Schools tweeted at 11 p.m., "TSD Families & Staff. Please check your email for an important message. School is cancelled tomorrow, Thursday, Dec 2."
TSD Families & Staff. Please check your email for an important message. School is cancelled tomorrow, Thursday, Dec 2.
— TroySchools (@troyschools) December 2, 2021
The Warren Consolidated Schools website said: "WCS is closed tomorrow, Thursday, December 2. All extra curricular activities and athletics are canceled."
Each school message was slightly different, some longer than others.
All seemed to trigger initial concern among parents on social media.
The Rochester Community Schools website said:
"Out of an abundance of caution, Rochester Community Schools will be closed on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021. There will be no school for all in-person and RCS Virtual Campus students in Transitional Kindergarten (TK) through grade 12, Pre-K, Early On, Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), and the Adult Transition Program and Services (ATPS). All evening activities and enrichment programs will also be canceled. The RCS Caring Steps Children’s Center will remain open. Families will receive an email message with additional information."
The Holly Area Schools website said schools would be closed on Thursday and Friday. Parents were referred to a letter from Superintendent Scott Roper and ended with, "Thank you for your understanding."
Clarkston Community Schools posted on its website plans to close both Thursday and Friday. In addition, there will be no evening activities.
"There have been dozens of indirect threats reported to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) throughout the county this evening," the Clarkston schools memo said. "Our district has worked closely with the OCSO to investigate each threat with a possible connection to CCS. At this time, none of the threats investigated have been deemed credible. However, the volume of indirect threats in the county makes it impossible for law enforcement to investigate each threat thoroughly. The safety of our students and staff is our top priority, and at this time, we cannot take the risk. We will continue to work with the OCSO and keep you informed."
Superintendent Ben Kirby wrote to families who attend Lake Orion Community Schools that social media posts about potential violence triggered the closure Thursday.
"Given the events of this week at Oxford High School, LOCS will be cautious and close all schools for Thursday, December 2, 2021. There will be no school for any grade level, including the Early Childhood Center, or after school activities as we seek to keep our students and staff safe. While continuing our students’ education is important, having a safe learning environment is our top priority."
In Walled Lake, Superintendent Kenneth Gutman said on the school website, "We take all incidents involving student and staff safety seriously and appreciate our partnerships with local law enforcement officials. We ask students, parents, and community members to report all suspicious or threatening activity to law enforcement and/or school/district administration immediately."
He ended, "Please look after yourselves and one another."
Responses to the news streamed onto social media well past midnight.
This story is developing.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan schools closed due to threats after Oxford shooting