Oak Park Public Safety arrested a 14-year-old Oak Park School District student in connection with threats of school violence involving several schools within the Oak Park School District.
On Tuesday, March 20, Public Safety received information from the Oak Park School District regarding numerous threats circulating throughout various social media channels threatening to “shoot up” several schools within the school district. On Friday, March 23, a 14-year-old Oak Park School District student was arrested for making and circulating threats. She remains in custody. The case will be presented to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office for appropriate charges.
“We take each and every threat to the safety of our community members and our schools very seriously,” said City Manager Erik Tungate. “Our children’s safety is an absolute top priority.”
Oak Park supports three public school districts, along with several Jewish, charter, pre-kindergarten, nursery and Montessori schools.
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“We are urging parents to ensure their children understand the consequences they could face — that could impact them for the rest of their lives — if they make threats against classmates, schools or the community,” said Public Safety Director Steve Cooper. Such threats can result in arrest, lengthy jail time, expulsion and fewer college enrollment or employment opportunities.
“In today’s climate, these threats, whether stated online, over the phone, through email or in-person, are treated as threats to the safety of others and are investigated accordingly.”
The Oak Park School District was closed on Thursday and Friday last week while the city’s Public Safety conducted their investigation and met with staff. “It is very important that if our community members see something, they say something so that our children can return to a safe learning environment, free from undue panic, false alarms and harmful threats,” Cooper said.
Last week, the city of Oak Park announced it is adding an additional community resource officer position to its existing Public Safety team to expand the department’s presence in educational environments while providing more opportunities for positive interaction with students.