Bangor Township Schools to resume Wednesday after threat deemed - WNEM TV 5

Bangor Township Schools to resume Wednesday after threat deemed not credible

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
BAY COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

All Bangor Township Schools and childcare were closed on Tuesday, Jan. 30 due to a threat posted on social media.

The district received what they perceive to be a security threat Monday night, Superintendent Matt Schmidt said.

The threat was directed at John Glenn High School.

Bay County Sheriff Troy Cunningham said the threat was made on social media and it caused concern. He said the threat came from a recently expelled student, possibly a senior, who has been known to post messaged like this before on social media.

This time it was different. The student talked about bringing in a firearm to school in a backpack.

Cunningham said they erred on the side of caution by closing schools until detectives could thoroughly investigate.

"We got the call about 8 p.m.," said Pat O'Neill, parent.

He and his kids were like most families in Bangor Township Monday night. They were enjoying a nice family dinner when the call came in. It was the school saying to keep the kids at home due to a death threat at John Glenn High School.

"It's kind of disturbing to get a call like that because you don't really want that to happen in your school because you got kids there and you kind of worry about them," O'Neill said.

Cunningham wants to remind everyone apps are becoming a big issue and law enforcement has to take any and all threats made on social media seriously.

He said students who use multiple social media sites sometimes think they are being anonymous, but anything can be retrieved once it is online.

"With what's going on in the county and throughout the nation, it's all taken seriously. And they just have to realize that anything you're putting on the computer does have a footprint that is trackable," Cunningham said.

The sheriff hopes this criminal behavior will lead to a discussion not only at school, but also at home.

Meanwhile, O'Neill and his family said the school made the right call. Even if the cancellation comes at an inconvenience.

"I mean, it's extra work for the parents to find daycare and somebody to watch your kids, but the bottom line is we want our kids to be safe," O'Neill said.

The investigation deemed the threat is not credible and schools will resume on Wednesday.

The district sought out the advice of security expert Thomas Mynsberge after the threat was posted.

"If it looks like we don't have the threat contained and it's still potential that it could arrive and we're not isolating it down, then we have to err on the side of caution. Which might mean we don't have school today," Mynsberge said.

This wasn't the first time the district has seen a threat like this. Mynsberge has seen almost 10 of them and social media has made the problem worse.

"It's actually made it tougher. You can do these things anonymously. Where normally they wouldn't say things or they wouldn't come forward, but it's kind of like I can do this stuff in the background. I can make all these comments and really not have to deal with the consequences unless I said them directly," Mynsberge said.

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