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Newaygo parents express frustrations after explosion

Posted at 5:54 PM, Mar 11, 2021

NEWAYGO, Mich. — Some parents at Newaygo High School are less than impressed with the messages sent by the district after a student brought a homemade explosive that went off in class Monday.

“It’s a day I’ll never forget. You get a text, from your son, saying I don’t know what’s going on, there was an explosion at school, there are police and fire everywhere” Karen Simington said.

Karen Simington says for starters, she's grateful for the staff and law enforcement who were at the building within minutes.

“My biggest thing was, the kids are safe. And that was because of the staff. They got them to safety,” Simington said.

But aside from that, she's concerned with the message being sent out. Specifically, the early narrative that the explosive situation was an accident. Karen says that student still chose to bring a dangerous weapon to school.

“Whether or not the student intended to cause any harm this student brought an explosive device. I’d like to use another word. A bomb. It was an explosive device. And it did cause harm. It could have been so much more severe, and I’m glad it wasn’t. It could have been a horrible tragedy,” Simington said.

The school has deleted Facebook posts regarding the incident. Karen says the last thing she wants to do is be a bully. She just wants to have a serious conversation about what happened, and feel heard.

“It’s kind of like it’s being minimized, with that statement. And again, it doesn’t take the fact away that this 16 year old student brought in something that really is a deadly weapon, and could have been a deadly weapon. I don’t think anyone knows what the intention was other than that student,” Simington said.

The Newaygo Superintendent said they of course take student safety extremely seriously. She says rather than wait, she put the message out alerting parents, and wasn't attempting to minimize or maximize the situation, just keep parents informed.