Bomb comment prompts ‘Outside Threat Mode’

March 10, 2018

By Pat Maurer

A potential threat of a bomb made by a 16-year-old Pioneer High School student Monday morning led to an “outside threat condition” for all Clare Schools and started a search for the student.

Clare Police Chief Brian Gregory said officers were called to Pioneer High School on Ann Arbor Trail at 8:30 a.m. for a “disruptive student.”

Officers later learned that there was a potential threat of a bomb made by the student, who fled through a window and away from the school on foot.

3-9-18 Pioneer HS bomb threat (2)

After starting a search for the student, officers who contacted the Clare County Transit offices were told that the teen had called a bus to be taken home.

City officers and Clare County Sheriff’s Office deputies located the teen at his home in Sheridan Township and he was taken into custody.

Gregory said the incident started with an argument with staff and students that led to an altercation and the threat. “The threat turned out to be only a comment made by a troubled teen to another student,” he said.

The search for the student involved the City’s K-9 unit and five personnel from the CCSO and their K-9 unit before they discovered the student had called CCTC to be taken home.

He was taken into custody by County deputies and City officers before noon, Gregory said.

He was placed in a juvenile detention center pending a review of charges by the Clare County Prosecutor’s office.
Clare officers also investigated a tip about a post on social media around 1 a.m. Saturday morning.

Gregory said a young middle school student had posted about “being a school shooter.” He said after an investigation and interviews with the teen and his parents, “officers determined that the comments made were not serious and the teen didn’t actually intend to do anything.”

A post by Clare Superintendent Jim Walter II on Monday said, “Today, Clare Public Schools went into Outside Threat Mode for a brief time as a precaution due to a bomb threat on Pioneer High School’s campus. Police…apprehended the student. Upon investigating, police found no evidence of bomb-making materials or any plans indicating the threat had merit in any way.”

He continued, “However, over the last two days we have had two student threats. Even though neither of the threats were found to be credible, I assure you that Clare Administration, Clare Board of Education and the Clare City Police Department do not take any threat against the students, staff or community lightly. Both of these students will likely face expulsion from Clare Public Schools, as will any student involved in threats of this nature against the staff or students of Clare Public Schools. They may also face prosecution.”

He encouraged parents and community members to “continue to be vigilant,” saying “If you notice a student who is struggling academically, emotionally, or personally, please do not hesitate to contact one of our administrators or counselors. We want to help every student in the Clare community.”

Gregory urged parents to monitor their children’s activities on media and peer pressure on media closely to avoid this type of situation happening, and to contact them or local law enforcement with anything suspicious.

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