Dowagiac high school student suspended for making social media threats

Published 2:07 pm Wednesday, September 28, 2022

DOWAGIAC — A Dowagiac Union High School student has been suspended for making “alarming comments” on social media, 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.

“Today, in mid-morning, we learned that a high school student made alarming comments on social media,” Whan said. “Once aware of the situation, actions were taken by the school administration and law enforcement.” 

The administration and its School Resource Officer isolated the student and began the investigation, which included searching the student, their locker, and backpack. No weapon was located. The student’s home was also searched and no weapons were found. The student claimed it was just a joke.

Whan said the high school administration communicated with the family making it clear that this situation was serious. The student was removed from the building and Whan said they will not be able to return until further notice. The administration and police will continue to assess and investigate the incident.

“Regardless of the intent, threats or threatening behavior have no place in our schools or community,” Whan said. “We take them all seriously as we assess and address them. As an important reminder, threats of any nature are against the District Code of Conduct and can lead to severe consequences and possibly legal penalties. In no way do these actions fit within civility and good citizenship.”

The incident is the fourth involving a threat or weapon the district has faced since Aug. 28.

According to Whan, 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. 

“If your child is in need of assistance, or if you have questions about support, please reach out to your school building principal,” Whan said. “We appreciate the support of our community and the Dowagiac Police Department in dealing with this situation and moving forward together.”