A bomb threat at Grand Ledge High School, coupled with similar threats made against surrounding area schools, resulted in multiple active Shelter-in-Place and evacuation situations within the last two weeks.
On Tuesday, Feb. 20, students and staff at the high school in Grand Ledge sheltered-in-place after reports of a bomb threat reached the school’s administration. The threat was found written on a bathroom wall.
Grand Ledge High School sophomore Anne-Marie Latourette said the school entered into the Shelter-in-Place while she was in her second-hour class period.
“We got this announcement and so we were told to not leave whatever room we were in and all that,” Latourette said. “And I was in gym at the time so that meant we couldn’t really swim.”
Latourette said that she disliked how she felt during the situation, noting that the bomb threat caused her anxiety over what was going to happen.
“I don’t really particularly like it, especially ‘cause it sometimes causes a little bit of stress,” Latourette said.
A post from the Grand Ledge Public Schools Facebook page confirmed the threat at 9:53 a.m. At the time, police were actively searching the building for any potential danger.
“The safety of our students and staff are our first priority,” the post read.
Similar incidents occurred at other area schools within the same two weeks as the one in Grand Ledge. Holt High School went into a Shelter-in-Place on Feb. 13 and Waverly High School was evacuated on Feb. 21 after bomb threats were found written on bathroom walls at both schools.
Members of the Grand Ledge community reacted to the bomb threats, all of which have occurred in a relatively short span of time.
Lise Mitchell has a student in tenth grade at Grand Ledge High School. Mitchell, Director of the Grand Ledge Area District Library, said she believes that administration officials at Grand Ledge High School handled the situation properly.
“Schools have to take this very seriously and Grand Ledge handled it properly,” Mitchell said. “They also have a lot of pressure. They send out updates as quickly as they can.”
Jean Fellows, whose son attends Grand Ledge High School, said that she found out about the Shelter-in-Place via the school’s text message alert system.
“I’m always alerted,” Fellows said. “It’s a ‘never think it can happen to you’ kind of thing.”
Fellows also said students from the Grand Ledge High School choir were performing at Holt High School at the time of its own Shelter-in-Place, which is how Fellows found out about it. That turned out to be a false alarm, and Fellows said she believes that those sort of threats have become part of a trend of students simply wanting to get out of classes or cause a panic.
“A lot of bomb-related threats, or most of them, are hoaxes,” Fellows said. “They’re the modern equivalent of pulling the fire alarm.”
Fellows also added that she had been communicating with her son at school during the situation. He referred to the event as “mild,” which brought Fellows relief.
“Interesting part of the world is that that’s mild,” Fellows said. “We have to check these situations out.”
According to statistics obtained from the U.S News and World Report website, Holt High School had 1,378 students, Grand Ledge High School had 1,684 students and Waverly High School had 1,021 students when the threats occurred.