Dowagiac Middle School student suspended after making online threat

Published 7:36 am Friday, September 9, 2022

DOWAGIAC — A Dowagiac Middle School student has been suspended following a threat made to the school district, according to Dowagiac Union Schools.

In a newsletter released to DUS families Thursday evening, Superintendent Jonathan Whan said the matter was under investigation by the Dowagiac Police Department.

“This evening, we learned that a middle school student was being accused of making alarming comments toward the school on social media,” Whan said in the newsletter. “Once aware of the situation, actions were taken by school administration and law enforcement.” 

Police officers went to the home of the accused and conducted interviews, searched the property and no weapons were located. Administration communicated with the family making it clear that the student was not allowed to attend school until further notice, while the district and law enforcement assesses and investigates the incident. Transportation was made aware that the student would not be allowed to ride the bus in the morning and that police would be present at the pickup point the student normally uses. 

Due to the swift action of both the administration and law enforcement, Whan said it was determined that the district is currently in a low-threat assessment and that students will be safe at school. Law enforcement and school officials will continue to investigate this incident. 

“Threats or threatening behavior have no place in our schools or community,” Whan said. “As an important reminder, threats of any nature are against the District Code of Conduct and can lead to very serious consequences and possible legal penalties. In no way do these actions fit within civility and good citizenship. Please remember that police or school personnel can be contacted with concerns so that we can address issues as soon as possible. 

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. 

“The Dowagiac Union Schools counseling staff is available to assist students who may deal with the anxiety of this event,” Whan said. “If your child is need of assistance, or if you have questions about support, please reach out to your school building principal. We appreciate the support of our community and the Dowagiac Police Department in dealing with this situation and moving forward together.”