UPDATE: Social media message that closed EPS Friday determined to be ‘very low’ threat

Published 2:26 pm Friday, December 10, 2021

EDWARDSBURG — The social media message that closed Edwardsburg Public Schools has been determined to be a “very low threat assessment,” according to Superintendent Jim Knoll.

Edwardsburg Public Schools were closed Friday due to a social media threat that was forwarded to the administration Thursday night. Knoll said law enforcement was immediately notified, but due to the timing, the threat was unable to be fully investigated prior to Friday classes. After an investigation, the social media message was determined to have a very low threat assessment.

Due to the low threat assessment, after-school and weekend events will continue as scheduled.

“It has been discovered that several middle school students shared texts containing alarming material.  The material, originally from a Lansing area school, was altered and released to a wider audience where the ‘threat’ quickly amplified by social media spread,” Knoll said. “As an important reminder, threats of any nature are against the District Code of Conduct and can lead to very serious legal penalties. Threats or threatening behavior have no place in our school or community. The consequences for making threats may be dire. To submit a tip anonymously online, go to OK2SAY — anyone can report tips on criminal activities or potential harm directed at students, school employees or schools.”

Knoll said the district and law enforcement continue to investigate the incident.

Edwardsburg Public Schools has activated the Crisis Team to help students deal with the anxiety of this event, and Knoll encouraged students and parents to reach out to their buildings if they are in need of assistance to be connected with resources.

“In light of recent events, we understand that students can feel overwhelmed in these stressful times,” Knoll said. “At Edwardsburg Public Schools, we understand the concerns that arise with student safety at school.  We want our community members to be reassured that we always take the safety of our students and staff very seriously.  Our District continues to provide a safe learning and working environment as well as a connection to resources for those who are struggling. We take reports of misconduct as well as reports of students or staff who may be at risk very seriously.  At Edwardsburg Public Schools, we immediately take steps to investigate these reports and follow up with the appropriate action.  We are always working in close partnership with mental health partners along with the Ontwa Township Police Department, Michigan State Police, and other law enforcement agencies, to ensure the safety of our students and staff.”

Knoll thanked the community and law enforcement for support while investigating and handling the incident.