Schools across the Hometown Life communities are closed Thursday, Dec. 2, due to online threats.
Additionally, Huron Valley and Novi officials announced both these districts will also be closed Friday, Dec. 3. Farmington Public Schools and South Lyon Community Schools announced all buildings are closed through Monday, Dec. 6.
In a video on the district’s Facebook page, Superintendent Paul Salah said Huron Valley became aware of unspecified online threats Wednesday night and were advised to close Lakeland High School by the White Lake Police Department. Additional threats were received regarding middle schools and the decision was made to close all schools.
“After meeting with local law enforcement agencies this morning, I felt it was prudent to allow them to the time they need to implement their tools, skills, their strategies and their resources to track down and hold accountable any individual that is haphazardly creating fear and chaos,” he said Thursday afternoon.
In South Lyon, Superintendent Steve Archibald sent an email also expressing the extended closure would give law enforcement time to investigate threats. The closure includes cancellation of all school events, practices, activities and facility rentals this weekend.
Shortly before 9 a.m. on Thursday, Plymouth-Canton officials announced they would dismiss school at 9:30 a.m. for all students at Canton, Plymouth and Salem high schools.
“The fear and anxiety at the PCEP campus has caused significant disruption to the learning environment, resulting in this decision to dismiss early,” a message on the district’s website said. “If your student rode the bus to school this morning, they will be transported home.”
All other Plymouth-Canton elementary and middle schools will continue as scheduled today.
The districts that have closed all school buildings in Oakland County on Thursday include:
- Huron Valley Schools
- Novi Community School District
- South Lyon community Schools
- Bloomfield Hills School District
- Clarenceville School District
- Walled Lake Consolidated School District
- Holly Area Schools
- Clarkston Community Schools
- West Bloomfield School District
Farmington Public Schools announced that its three high schools, Farmington, North Farmington and Farmington Central, are closed. All other Farmington schools remain open.
“At this point, the decision made from an abundance of caution, due to various social media threats circulating in the county,” South Lyon Superintendent Steve Archibald said. “To my knowledge, none of these are directed at South Lyon Schools. We have not received any direct threats.”
Novi Schools announced it was closing this morning at about 7 a.m. “We apologize for this late communication but are acting out of an abundance of caution after consultation with Novi Police,” the district said in a tweet.
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.”
Huron Valley Schools made the decision to close all secondary buildings including both Milford and Lakeland High Schools, as well as all three middle schools in the district around midnight, “due to unspecified threats to students and staff.”
Shortly before 7 a.m. Dec. 2, district officials announced all elementary schools would also be closed. There are no known threats made to the youngest students, nor the staff at those buildings.
The districts have not yet made decisions on Friday closures and planned to update following further consultation with law enforcement.
“For the individuals who are doing these threats, I sincerely hope law enforcement is successful in finding and holding them accountable, because their actions are extremely disruptive and harmful to members of our community and it can’t be tolerated,” Archibald said.
Oakland County has been in the global spotlight since Nov. 30 when a sophomore at Oxford High School shot to death four students and wounded six other students and a teacher. The suspect has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder among other charges. Schools in Oxford 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.
School officials are encouraging students, parents and other community members to use a hotline for suspicious behavior.
One option is the State of Michigan’s OK2SAY tip line by calling 1-855-565-2729, emailing [email protected] or texting to 652729. It is available around the clock for anyone in the community to report safety concerns.