LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — While threats to DeWitt Public Schools have police and school personnel on edge, officials said the attackers have it all wrong.
They said name-calling, anonymous phone calls and repeated intimidations to the district surrounded a previous employee’s personal online post.
Officials also explained people are falsely assuming this person is still affiliated with the school.
And while the name of the former faculty member has not been disclosed, the DeWitt Police Department said the employee has not been with the district for quite some time.
But they’re still taking extra precautions.
“Tuesday morning, I came in and met with our principals at a couple of our schools and we just wanted to make sure that we got our students in and got the schools locked up, like we normally do without incident,” Chief of Police with the City of DeWitt Bruce Ferguson said.
This follows an announcement from the school Tuesday evening saying police are investigating a flood of different online attacks. There was a likelihood that the influx of threats came in after the video was picked up by a popular right-wing account.
Law enforcement reminded that people assumed the employee still worked at DeWitt Schools and thus commented and directed attacks on the school’s social media pages.
“The school district wanted to take down some of these comments off social media,” Ferguson said “So, it didn’t make it look like we were involved in whatever they were accusing the school district of being involved with.”
Parents within the district said they weren’t aware of what was going on at first, but they’re glad action is being taken.
“I was surprised because I didn’t know that it had happened. But then, I’m thankful because as much benefit as social media has, it can also be problematic,” said Paula Thompson, who has a student in the school system.
She added that cutting the hate off at the source is a good way to ensure the safety of both students and staff.
“Temporarily shutting it down stops all of the negative stuff that’s happening. It allows them to regroup, put a statement together and keep everybody safe,” Thompson said.
The chief of police is once again reminding the community the accusations out there are false.
“I think what they were concerned about is what and where the information was located. And I think the school district did the best they could to try and eliminate accusations that the school was involved with it that weren’t true,” Ferguson added.
The assumed video goes through a portion of books that were banned last year in other places around the country, which touches on topics of diversity and LGBTQ+ rights.