Swartz Creek Schools Superintendent: We have to treat every threat as if it is real

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Swartz Creek, Michigan (WJRT) - (02/27/2018) - It didn't take long, according to Swartz Creek Community Schools Superintendent Ben Mainka, for a rumored threat to circulate through social media of a student wanting to shoot up Swartz Creek High School.

"A student went on, and in the heat of the moment, decided to post something to a friend, text a friend, and that friend took a Snap chat of that, and that got circulated around," said Mainka.

The same student had been involved in a 'school incident' on Friday that police investigated but determined not to be a law enforcement iissue.

"At the end of the day, there was no threat made," said Mainka,
"...that resulted in a lot of hysteria and outcry in the community."

It also resulted in an investigation by police that cleared the student.

"Rumors get flying, social media hysteria is created, and we spend a tremendous amount of our resources, tracking down what ultimately became a rumor," said Lt. Matthew Bade with Metro Police.

Lt. Bade encourages people to contact police instead sharing posts they find concerning:

"If someone has direct information of a threat from a particular individual, they need to forward that to us," he said.

Mainka also advises parents and family members to report any threat to student safety directly to the school, but to the police if they cannot get through to the school.

"We have the ability to go through our processes and protocols to determine whether or not a threat is real or not, and we have to treat every threat as if it is real," he said.

Mainka also urges parents to have conversations with their children about the importance of not making these types of threats.

Any threat that is made will be turned over to the prosecutor, and the school board would decide if the student would be allowed to return to class.

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