Michigan schools not required to inform parents of guns found on students

On Wednesday, Eastpointe High School was on lockdown after a reported social media threat against the school. It was found to be not credible and no weapon was ever found. But if there was, the school would be under no legal obligation to report it to parents.

This week, Harper Woods High School parents shared their story with Brandon Hudson, saying a gun was brought into the school but the district never informed them. As it turns out, there is no requirement for schools to do so.

On Monday… cell phone video captured the danger of having a gun on a school campus as gunfire scattered students during dismissal in Warren. Nobody was hurt but school shootings are leading to obvious anxiety among parents.

In Harper Woods, a school employee discovered a student with a gun last week but it wasn't reported publicly for five days.

Therapist Aisha Cunningham works with school-aged children and says parents should be justified in demanding more transparency from their districts.

"I think sometimes there can be this line, or unbeknownst division, because parents aren’t in the building all day long. But they’re still a major part of school community," Cunningham said.

When school districts send notifications of incidents to parents, it opens the door for parents to check in with their child to start the conversation.

"I honestly just think it starts with initiation. Initiating the conversation. There’s no right or wrong way, as long as we are coming from a place of genuineness, which most of us are," she said.

Harper woods is not the only district where community members reached out to us about a suspected cover-up of a weapon on campus. Viewers in Pontiac did too. FOX 2 sent in a FOIA on a student who was discovered with a BB gun at Pontiac High School. The report says the weapon was initially thought to be a real gun based on appearance.

When we asked if the school district notified parents about the discovery, we received this statement:

"It is our protocol to always take immediate steps to ensure our students' safety and inform our parents of any potentially dangerous circumstances that could impact our students or staff. This incident did not pose any danger to anyone in our school."

Under Michigan law, there is no requirement for school districts to report these situations to parents. They are, however, required to report them to law enforcement.

The largest school district in the state has its own policy. At the Mackinac Policy Conference, Detroit Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Nikoli Vitti talked about the importance of notifying parents of any incident, including guns. A DPSCD spokesperson says they notify parents the day the incident happens, and it’s helped build trust with the community.