School districts across metro Detroit closed Thursday due to threats

·4 min read

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."

The Warren Consolidated Schools website said: "WCS is closed tomorrow, Thursday, December 2. All extra curricular activities and athletics are canceled."

Warren Consolidated Schools officials posted a memo to parents late Wednesday of sudden closure on Thursday, Dec. 2. It is one of many districts that notified parents based on safety concerns, according to some of the memos.
Warren Consolidated Schools officials posted a memo to parents late Wednesday of sudden closure on Thursday, Dec. 2. It is one of many districts that notified parents based on safety concerns, according to some of the memos.

Each school message was slightly different, some longer than others.

All seemed to trigger initial concern among parents on social media.

Rochester Community Schools officials posted a memo late Wednesday that "out of an abundance of caution" the schools would be closed on Thursday, Dec. 2.
Rochester Community Schools officials posted a memo late Wednesday that "out of an abundance of caution" the schools would be closed on Thursday, Dec. 2.

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."

More: Authorities: Oxford school shooting suspect talked in video about killing students before rampage

More: 'Intent to kill': A visual timeline of deadly shooting at Oxford High School

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."

Holly Area Schools posted a note late Wednesday that schools would be closed Thursday and Friday. No details were posted but other districts said the sudden closure was inspired by potential safety threats and an abundance of caution.
Holly Area Schools posted a note late Wednesday that schools would be closed Thursday and Friday. No details were posted but other districts said the sudden closure was inspired by potential safety threats and an abundance of caution.

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."

Clawson Public Schools decided to cancel classes on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021 based on safety concerns. This alert appeared on the website.
Clawson Public Schools decided to cancel classes on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021 based on safety concerns. This alert appeared on the website.

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.

More: Grandmother of Oxford school shooting victim Madisyn Baldwin pleads for help on GoFundMe

More: What adults need to know, and how they can help after shootings like Oxford High School

This story is developing.

Contact Phoebe Wall Howard at 313-618-1034 or phoward@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @phoebesaid.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan schools closed due to threats after Oxford shooting