EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – East Lansing Public School leaders gave the community a better understanding of recent safety issues that have affected the high school during a special meeting Monday night.
December 5, 2022:
ELPS officials said a fight happened when students were moving between classes. They said police were called and multiple students were suspended.
January 4, 2023:
School administrators said two students opened an outside door to let three other students into the building for a duration of 30 to 40 minutes. Two of those students are not from the district. The students who opened the door were later suspended.
After a basketball game, district leaders said a fight happened in the parking lot that involved eight to 10 students. School staff and police intervened. One staff member reported a gun falling out of a student’s belongings before they ran away. They said students in this fight have been suspended, or are up for long-term suspension or expulsion pending board action.
Five students got into a fight when moving between classes according to the district. Staff stepped in and multiple students were suspended or their case is pending board action.
Three students reported a social media post screenshot that indicated a student could be in the building with a weapon. Staff said the school went into a shelter-in-place status while they investigated. Police were called in at that time. Administrators said the report was later found to have been from an overheard conversation between students that was misinterpreted.
High school staff said police were called to help remove a student after a “non-violent infraction”. They said the building was put under a shelter-in-place status during the situation. After the status was lifted, two students assaulted another student in the bathroom. Students involved are pending long-term suspension or expulsion.
ELHS staff said the school was closed to finish their investigations and hold meetings with the involved students’ families. Staff also took the time to plan for changes to safety procedures, and evaluate and plan safety policy recommendations. District leaders said a communication plan was made to inform staff, students and families about the changes.
During Monday night’s meeting, district administrators said they plan to improve communication on school status and the difference between “lockdowns” and “shelter-in-place” status.
Assistant Superintendent Glenn Mitcham said the district could have communicated better during the January 24 investigation.
“I want to also acknowledge that there was some misinformation that was originally sent to our parents that we’re in lockdown,” he said.