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Columbia schools addresss multiple bomb threats at host town hall meeting

Posted at 6:27 PM, May 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-05 18:27:01-04

COLUMBIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A series of bomb threats at Columbia Central Junior-Senior High School is causing concern among parents and school officials.

The first threat came on March 21. Columbia Township police say a 17-year-old was responsible.

The school would go into lockdown three more times on April 21, April 22 and April 26. Police say another teenager, a 16-year-old, made the April 22 threat.

Each bomb threat was reported to Columbia Township police and was taken care of, in one instance through the OK2SAY anonymous student safety program. The other instances were reported to the department’s community liaison officer.

Police say there is no connection between the individuals who made the threats.

Columbia Central town hall meeting
Superintendent Pam Campbell speaking to audience at special town hall meeting

But, the threats prompted Columbia Central school officials to host a town hall meeting Tuesday night that included Jackson County Prosecutor Jerry Jarzynka, Columbia Township Police Chief Jay Niles, the school liaison officer, members of the school board and other administrators.

Making a false report of bomb or a threat of a bomb or device is a four-year felony. In the state of Michigan, potential terroristic threats is a 20-year felony.

“Even as a juvenile, if you were to get charged with this, it’s still going to there to some capacity or another,” Niles said.

“It’ll always follow you around,” he said. “So, it could disqualify you from attending college, potential grants to pay for college. There’s a lot of things that could hinder your future just by a poorly worded choice.”

Both the 17-year-old and the 16-year-old were investigated by Columbia police. They were not arrested but the findings were brought to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

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