Clare County Review & Marion Press News

Bomb threat puts Harrison High School in ‘secure’ mode


By Pat Maurer
A bomb threat made by a Harrison High School Student January 19 put the building into a ‘secure mode’ while law enforcement conducted a ‘sweep’ of the building and found nothing.
Harrison Superintendent Judy Walton wrote, in a lengthy statement, that the threat was “verbal” and that the student that made the threat was interviewed in the office.”
A press release from the Clare County Sheriff’s Department said the incident happened around 2:15 pm, when “Central Dispatch received a report of an explosive device being put into a locker by a freshman male student.”
The release said, “Deputies and School Staff took precautionary measures and the building was searched by a Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police Explosive Detection K9.”
No device was found in the search.
Superintendent Walton said, “We went into secure mode at the request of our law enforcement partners, which had students remain in locked classrooms with teachers.”
She continued, “We then proceeded to expedite interviews with several other students and a teacher who overheard the threat. While the information from those interviews did not provide any new information or escalate our threat level, our law enforcement partners requested that we go into secure mode and sweep the building with a bomb-sniffing dog out of an abundance of caution.”
“At that point,” Walton said, “we moved all students and staff to the gym and the undersheriff spoke with them there. Not only was this designated as a safe place for them to be but it also allowed the sweep to be completed more efficiently and effectively once the dog and his handler arrived.”
She said she was in contact with the other schools to “coordinate a safe dismissal once the all-clear was given,” and then “sent out a text to everyone” explaining the procedures.
She did not explain disclipline measures regarding the student who made the verbal threat, saying, “This type of threat and corresponding discipline is addressed in Board Policies 5206 and 5206A, which are available on our website.”
She noted that administration is prohibited by law from discussing or disclosing discipline assigned to any child “other than your own,” but did say, “I want you to know that we are following our threat assessment protocols and those Board policies, and also that our processes run separately from any action that may be taken by local law enforcement or the justice system.”
She said “our high school will be open tomorrow (Friday),” and that Principal “Ashcroft and members of his staff” would be available for any students who may have additional information about the incident, or that “need to process it.”

Leave a Reply