MUSKEGON, Mich. — Numerous swatting reports were made at schools across the state Tuesday morning.
Swatting is defined as the act of filing a false report of a crime in progress in order to draw a response from police.
The Muskegon Police Department (MPD) says they investigated a false threat at Muskegon High School and discovered nothing during a search.
Muskegon Public Schools notified parents and community members of the false reports on social media.
Portage Northern High School was also threatened, according to school officials at the Portage Department of Public Safety (PDPS). Authorities say the call came in at 9:30 a.m. We're told officers arrived at the school within 90 seconds of receiving the call. It was determined no shooting had taken place. The call is not believed to be a student prank.
Michigan State Police (MSP) says it is investigating false threats reported statewide, adding they do not believe any of them are credible at this time.
We are receiving a number of false threats against schools across the state. Each threat is being investigated to ensure the safety of students and staff.
At this time, we are not aware of any specific or credible threats to K-12 educational facilities in Michigan. pic.twitter.com/SRuQbH8F7u
— Michigan State Police (@MichStatePolice) February 7, 2023
MSP adds law enforcement agencies describe the reports as follows:
- Made by a caller with a thick accent.
- Specifies the school's name and address.
- Caller claims to be a teacher and that a student was shot by another student.
- Claims shots were fired inside a room with a nonexistent room number.
Attorney General Dana Nessel is reminding the public of the serious consequences that can arise when issuing threats against Michigan schools. She says threats of violence can result in the following:
- 20 years for threatening terrorism.
- 4 years for issuing a bomb threat.
- 6 months for malicious use of telecommunication.
- 1 year for threatening a student or staff member with violence.
Additionally, Nessel adds the following charges may be filed as it relates to swatting:
- 93 days for making a false report of a crime.
- 5 years for reporting a false crime resulting in injury.
- 10 years for reporting a false crime resulting in physical impairment.
- 15 years for reporting a false crime resulting in death.
“Threats of violence in our schools disrupt the classroom, tax our local law enforcement agencies and harm our students’ sense of safety,” says Nessel. “Whether these are real threats made by those intent on doing harm or pranks made by kids trying to get a day off, they are real crimes with real consequences. It’s critical that adults and students alike understand the seriousness of these threats and the criminal charges they could face.”
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