OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — After a rash of copycat threats following the shooting at Oxford High School this week, officials are urging parents to tell their kids not to make false threats.
“Parents, talk to your children about the seriousness of this. This is not the time for jokes,” Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said.
The jokes students are playing are shutting schools down for safety.
Josh Jacobs’ 16-year-old goes to North Farmington High School, one of many schools that will remain closed on Friday and Monday.
“We talked about how it’s serious and not a joking matter and you should talk to your friends about and this is real life,” Jacobs said.
In a letter a letter to families, Farmington Public Schools says:
On Monday, December 6, there will be No School for students, including our virtual/online classes. We will have all staff report to their schools for a day of fellowship, in order to support each other, discuss moving forward, and to review our ALICE (active shooter training) protocols, as well as other safety measures we have in place throughout the District and at their individual buildings.
McDonald says a false threat of terrorism is a 20-year felony.
Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard says they’ve received hundreds of threats since Tuesday’s shooting at Oxford High School.
“We have not had one turn out to be credible,” Bouchard said.
The threats continue to come in, forcing him to call on the FBI and Secret Service for help.
“I have 40 people working to track down these threats, to track down every single one of those threats,” FBI special agent Tim Water said.
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Aside from talking to students about false threats, parents are having tough conversations about Tuesday’s school shooting.
“Get their opinion on what is going on and where they are at mentally,” Jacobs said.
As a parent, he’s also trying to reassure his two daughters that school is still safe place.
“There is some anxiety about going to school,” Jacobs said. “‘Am I safe now?’ Those questions came up.”
One Hazel Park Schools mother says she is keeping Tuesday’s tragedy away from her fifth grader.
“If I tell my 11-year-old son that somebody came to school and shot up and killed a bunch of students, he is never going to get on that bus,” Sheena Hensley said.
Bouchard says some districts will increase their police presence when most students head back on Monday.
“I personally don’t think it sends the right message that we are keeping the kids at home isolated, especially after COVID-19,” Jacobs said.
Parents say keeping the kids out means students are missing out on instruction.
“We have to figure something out. Our children belong in school. I think the administration can do that,” Hensley said.