Threatening Email Leads to Cancellation of Classes at High School

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Tuesday, October 1, 2019, 9:00 am
By: 
Karessa Wheeler

East Lansing High School was closed Tuesday after an emailed threat was received early in the morning. All other district schools remained open.

According to a Facebook post from the East Lansing Public Schools account, the threat “is specific to high school.”

“We are working with ELPD to investigate this situation as quickly as possible,” East Lansing Superintendent Dori Leyko wrote in an email. “Each building will have increased police presence throughout the day as a precautionary measure.”

East Lansing Athletic Director Nikki Norris sent a message Tuesday afternoon that stated there would be no practices or events at the school. The swim team has an away meet scheduled at Marshall, and team members were directed to MacDonald Middle School for transportation.

This is the second time a threat was received by the high school. On Sept. 13, a student reported a threat written on a bathroom wall and the school went into “shelter in place” lockdown.

District administration send out a robotic phone call around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday but parents whose MacDonald Middle School students attend classes at the high school were not informed. Meanwhile, other parents reported getting a phone call from Dean Transportation that that the school would be closed before they received the official District call.

In addition to the phone call, the district posted the information on social media, including Twitter and Facebook around 6:30 a.m.

Some parents kept their middle school and younger students home as well, just to be safe.

Sara Grigsby’s only child is a sixth-grader at MacDonald Middle School and to her, it was “a no-brainer” to keep Xander home for the day.

“Everything I do, I do to protect Xander and this is a credible threat less than a mile down the road and that was enough,” Grigsby said.

“Later, I realized I was being reactionary and naïve and that this is the reality in which we live. This is every day and that’s what is most upsetting.”

Grigsby grew up in East Lansing and graduated from East Lansing High in 1991. She and her husband Chuck were living in Florida when Donald Trump began his political campaign and she said “Florida was no longer safe for my family.” They had traveled all over the world but she knew where she wanted to be.

“There was one little pocket of the world that I thought would be a safe place to raise Xander,” she said.

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