Dowagiac Union High School student suspended after making online threat to student

Published 9:46 pm Wednesday, September 21, 2022

DOWAGIAC — A Dowagiac Union High School student has been suspended following an online threat made to a high school student, according to Dowagiac Union Schools.

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

“This afternoon we learned that when a High School student arrived at home, they made threats specifically toward another high school student on social media,” Whan said. “To be clear, no threats were made toward the whole school. Once aware of the situation, actions were taken by school administration and law enforcement.”

Police officers have already visited the home of the student and conducted interviews, and searched the property. Administration communicated with the family making it clear that the student is not allowed to attend school or be on school grounds until further notice. Transportation was made aware that the student would not be allowed to ride the bus until the investigation and determination of the situation were completed.

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. 

“At Dowagiac Union Schools, we continue our dedication to the safety of students and staff,” Whan said. “Concerns about inappropriate or threatening behavior have no place in our schools or community. This situation was dealt with quickly and effectively due to the good relationship of the community with law enforcement, the strong relationship between the county and the city police force and the school, and the effective process and procedures we have in place.”

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. Whan added that the DUS counseling staff is available to assist students who may deal with the anxiety of this event. If a child is in need of assistance, or if there are questions about support, parents, guardians and students are asked to reach out to the relevant school building principal.

“We appreciate the support of our community, the Dowagiac Police Department, and the Cass Co. Sheriff Department in dealing with and moving forward from this unfortunate situation,” Whan said.