HASTINGS, Mich. (WOOD) — Following an investigation, police say there is no threat to Hastings Area School System. The district was closed Friday due to an unconfirmed threat.
According to Superintendent Matt Goebel law enforcement started investigating the threat on Thursday. Around 11 p.m. they determined more time was needed to investigate.
The Chief of Police Dale Boulter said the threat was allegedly made by a current high school student.
Officers investigated a chain of social media posts about what was thought to be a shooting threat made by the student. They also investigated tips from the public.
“…Out of an abundance of caution I canceled school (on Friday) to allow law enforcement to have more time to investigate,” Goebel said in a statement to News 8 on Friday.
In a Saturday update, Boulter said there is no threat to the school. After finding the original social media post, police “determined that the implied threat of a school shooting was found to not be a valid depiction of the conversation,” he said in a release.
“While I cannot divulge the final outcome of the investigation, nor release names, I can say with confidence that there is no threat to the Hastings School District related to reports we received on Thursday,” Boulter wrote.
He said police officers spoke with more than 50 people during the investigation. A report will be given to the Barry County prosecutor on Monday.
“Each person in the Hastings School District, the Hastings Police Department and the Hastings School Administration takes each matter of school safety very seriously,” Boulter wrote. “This incident caused many disruptions throughout the school district, affected the community and spread the fear of becoming another statistic. The fear generated by these types of incidents is expected due to current events across the nation and here in our own state.
“The safety of each school district depends on students, parents and community members using the correct channels of communication when reporting any type of active violence information. I do not want to discourage anyone from speaking up if they are in fear, or suspect information they’ve received may signify any type of school violence. In such situations, I encourage people to use the proper channels to deliver the information as quickly as possible to law enforcement or school administration. The sooner law enforcement or school staff receives the information, the safer students, staff and community members will be.”
South of Hastings in Delton, law enforcement and Delton Kellogg School District school officials also investigated a possible threat Thursday night, the school’s superintendent said in a letter posted to Facebook. The letter said the threat was not credible, and classes took place as normal on Friday.