Some 80 schools closed Friday amid copycat threats of violence at districts
PONTIAC, Mich. - More than 80 school districts across Metro Detroit will have class off Friday amid what police have labeled a ‘tidal wave’ of copycat threats alleging planned violence the following day.
What began as a trickle of old posts being shared online grew into an entirely different crisis that police are now managing following the tragedy at Oxford high school on Nov. 30.
An FBI agent said Thursday the agency was investigating 25 school threats, determining at least 13 of them were not credible.
"I don't know what goes through people's minds to make threats - one they think it is funny and it is not," said Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard. "And two, they think it is a way to get out of school."
Law enforcement and school administrators have been on high alert after a mass shooting left four students dead and seven others injured after a 15-year-old student at Oxford high school began shooting randomly within the building.
It's the deadliest incident inside a school in the U.S. since 2018.
RELATED: FOX 2 School Closings
Already on edge following the tragedy, districts canceled classes in droves on Thursday, informing parents the night before or sending kids home early on school buses the day of. Police have been busy at work investigating the threats, following up on each one, Bouchard said.
"Addressing false information takes a lot of time - multiple threats were investigated previous to the Oxford event, and they are not related," he said. "The deer incident, the countdown clock, none of those have anything to do with this case. The clock was a local bar for when a band was going to play. So please, for those who are sharing that information, it is inflaming the fear of people."
Oxford High School on Nov. 30, the day a teen gunman open fired on students.
During a press conference on Thursday, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said a false terrorism threat charge carries a 20-year felony. Using a telephone with malicious intent is another felony.
If you'd like to see what schools are closed Friday, check out the FOX 2 Closings page here.