Niles student ‘safe’ after ‘serious incident’

Published 1:38 pm Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A Niles New Tech student is safe and with his or her parents after what school officials are describing as a “serious incident” occurred on school grounds at Niles High School Wednesday morning.

Niles Community Schools Supt. Dan Applegate said while he understands many people have questions about the incident, he is unable to provide any more information about the incident due to student confidentiality.

“I wish I could say more,” he said.

Although school officials declined to comment, multiple sources confirmed that a student had made at least some attempt to harm him or herself.

Applegate said he learned about the incident around 9:15 a.m. and that maybe 15 to 20 students witnessed what the student had done.

Applegate said he met with the student and a parent of the student after the incident occurred. He said the student is fine and with his or her parents.

The following text message was sent from the school to the parents of students in the district:

“This morning, a Niles High School student was involved in a serious situation. Due to reasons of confidentiality, we cannot provide specific details. However, we can let you know that while a few students witnessed the behavior, at no time were any students physically threatened by this situation and that our crisis response team was on hand to support our students.

It can be difficult for students to understand these situations, and the next few days may be difficult for them. The best thing parents can do is listen and answer any questions your child might have as openly as you can. The crisis response team is available at school for your child as needed.”

Lambert, Edwards & Associates, the Grand Rapids-based PR firm the district contracts with, released a similar statement to the media and declined all other comment.