Parent tips off police and school regarding threat to Grand Haven middle school

Posted at 11:59 AM, May 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-24 16:49:54-04

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. - The Ottawa County Sheriff and the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety says that four middle school students are being investigated after allegedly discussing a proposed attack at Lakeshore Middle School.

A parent called Ottawa County dispatch at about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday after they had heard about the threat. Law enforcement contacted Grand Haven Public Schools and began investigating.

Deputies, officers and the schools say they were able to identify four Lakeshore Middle School students who had been discussing an attacking using firearms against students and staff on Thursday morning.  Police interviewed the students and conducted searches and did not find any weapons with any of the students or their parents.  Police determined that the students did not have the means to carry out the threat.

The students are from Norton Shores, Ferrysburg and Grand Haven and are ages 13 and 14.  They face possible charges from the Ottawa County Prosecutor.

Late Thursday, the President of the Grand Haven Area Public Schools Board of Education sent this note to parents and posted it on Facebook:

Dear Grand Haven Community,

As president of the GHAPS Board of Education, let me take a moment to thank you allowing us the privilege of caring for and educating your children. We know today has been stressful for everyone as word of the threat against Lakeshore Middle School became public knowledge. Please rest assured that our District leaders and local law enforcement made every decision carefully, with student safety as our top priority. The day at Lakeshore and our other schools proceeded without incident, and we are thankful for all who continue to keep our children safe.

Many have asked why parents were not notified earlier, or why only parents of Lakeshore Middle School students received email notification of the incident. Release of information in situations like this is coordinated with local law enforcement, but we welcome your feedback on how the District can help parents feel more secure about our approach to student safety.

Each Board of Education meeting includes dedicated time for community members to share their thoughts and concerns. The schedule and meeting agendas are publicly posted on the District website, and that is truly the best forum for you to engage with the Board.

Again, thank you for being wholeheartedly invested in your students' educational experience at GHAPS.
John Siemion

The incident is still under investigation.