Threat leads to communication issues at Mid-Michigan high school

Many parents of students at Waverly High School contacted FOX 47 News Thursday, concerned about how long it took them to find out about a threat made to the school through the social media app Snapchat.

The parents claim the district dropped the ball when it came to telling them what was going on.

When administration at the high school learned about the threat, an investigation began immediately.

“Every tip that we get doesn't pan out and there has to be evidence behind a claim,” said Chris Huff, Principal at Waverly High School. “We didn't find there to be creditable evidence that something like this would happen so we resolved the issue.”

Or so the school thought.

By Wednesday night, rumors began and someone called the Eaton County Sheriff's Department because the school hadn't reported the threat.

“People had been panicking a bit and when we figured this was becoming an issue we didn't anticipate or foresee, we tried to communicate and calm some people down,” said Huff.

Administration first sent a letter to staff and then to parents through computer software. It’s a process which didn't go as planned.

“Our communication system has a setting that won’t disturb parents late at night and that's mostly for phone calls but it was also set for emails as well,” said Huff. “Some parents got some communication around 10 p.m. before the system shut itself down.”

This next time the alert system would allow administrators to begin sending e-mails again was 5 a.m. on Thursday.

Police determined there was not a credible threat. Eaton County Sheriff Deputies were on scene as a precaution Thursday morning.

The scene was cleared shortly after.

While it may have been a false alarm, it’s an alarm school leaders are learning from.

“If we deem that those things could be a threat to our community we definitely would handle it and let people know what’s going on,” said Huff. “If it turns out to be something that does not pose a danger then we are going to make sure that we handle it in the best way possible and we'll use our judgment whether or not the community should know about.”

The setting preventing messages to be sent out during the night has since been shut off. Parents will now receive messages at any point in time during the day.

Huff would not confirm if the student who made the threat was suspected however did say a “resolution” was in place.