Neighboring Districts Cancel Classes Following Rumors, Should Huron Valley Do the Same?

Rumors of violence and the theory that the world ends on Dec. 21 have caused the school districts in Fenton to cancel classes Thursday and Friday.

Late Wednesday, Genesee County Intermediate School Disrict (ISD) announced that all classes and activities at schools in the county would be canceled for Thursday and Friday - the cancellation was due, in part, to rumors of violence at the schools. These rumors are similar to ones reported at Lakeland High School Wednesday.

In a news release, Genesee County ISD explained the decision, "It is clear that last Friday changed all of us. As educators, we acknowledge, and we believe our communities would agree, that schools are at the center of concern right now. As school district Superintendents we have been in constant communication with one another and there are too many unique factors that have influenced our unanimous decision to cancel school and all school activities for Thursday, December 20 and Friday, December 21"

On Wednesday, the administration at Lakeland High School in White Lake sent out a message to parents informing them of rumors that had been going around in the school.

"It was brought to our attention early this morning that a rumor was being spread about a student bringing a gun to school on Friday," The message said. "Names were gathered and administration along with Officer (John) Kirken investigated the matter. They found no evidence of any such activity being planned."

Parents on the White Lake-Highland Patch Facebook page expressed their concern with both the message and sending their teens to school for the rest of the week.

"My daughter goes to Lakeland and after the 'rumors' today she now doesn't want to go to school Friday," Jen Hill wrote. "I kept telling her the school is safe... but honestly I can't keep telling her something that I don't know for sure!"

Trina Todoroff Zschering said she might keep both of her sons home on Friday, "Even though it is a rumor, you never know who may act upon it. There is a lot of craziness going on with the so called end of the world. It is just my opinion and I think every one should do what is right for them."

Do you think Huron Valley Schools should cancel classes? Will you send your child to school on Friday if there is class?

Laura Vogel December 20, 2012 at 07:44 PM
hurrah for level headedness: this just came through the listserv Message from Mr. Gmelin (the Lakeland HS principal): I have been in contact with Superintendent Baker multiple times this morning. It's unfortunate that teachers have to spend time on rumors that take away from their teaching and student learning. I am not in any way minimizing the incident last Friday in Connecticut, down playing potential threats or disregarding safety issues here. What I am saying and want all students, staff and parents to be clear about is that School Safety is my top priority. The administrative team is on full alert regarding any situation that is threatening in nature. Collectively, the administrative team is also working with Central office, and the White Lake Police Department to insure the safety of all our students. We are aware that Genesee and some Lapeer County schools or districts have made the decision to close. In Huron Valley we have been closely monitoring the situation in all buildings, with Oakland Schools and other county school districts. We have uncovered NO credible threats at this time and therefore will remain open. As always, threats and rumors will be thoroughly investigated. Students who make threats, spread rumors or post inappropriate messages on social media will be held accountable and subject to suspension and/or legal measures.
Laura Vogel December 20, 2012 at 07:48 PM
(continuing the listserv announcement...): As a reminder: I updated the following message that was shared yesterday with staff, students and parents if you'd like to reiterate with students or parents. (12/20/12) It was brought to our attention yesterday morning that a rumor was being spread about a student potentially bringing a gun to school on Friday. Student names were gathered and the administration along with Officer Kirken thoroughly investigated the concerns. There was no evidence that any such activity was being planned. Throughout the day, rumors continued to spread and many inaccuracies were posted on social media. There were also numerous students who came to the office to either report that they heard the rumor or were concerned. Please assure your students and yourself that this matter is being handled appropriately and swiftly. Lakeland High School is safe and that there is no danger. If you hear students continuing to spread this rumor please do your best to shut it down and stick to the facts.
Brooke Tajer December 20, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Thanks Laura, we have most of that in our story here: http://whitelake.patch.com/articles/huron-valley-superintendent-says-district-will-remain-open
Laura Vogel December 20, 2012 at 07:52 PM
I am glad we have level-headed administrators. Panicking helps nothing.
Bernie Benjamin December 21, 2012 at 01:12 AM
If there were threats, and if the end is near who in their right mind would want to be away from their kids and family members by sending them to school?! I would much rather them miss a day or 2 from school then for them and my family to perish apart from each other.


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