By Mary Drier
THUMB AREA — Classes for the 2012 – 2013 school year resume this week.
Because of a tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, schools nationwide reviewed security. The Frankenmuth School District was one of those.
“There are evil people who walk among our society,” said Frankenmuth Police Chief Donald Mawer.
“Collectively, we decided shortly after the events to take this energy and focus it where it is needed, which was keeping our campuses secure and focusing on our primary commitment which is the safety of our students,” said Mawer in a press release. “There are many things which go on behind the scenes each day between the school district, police department, fire department, students, citizens, crossing guards and city workers.”
According to Mawer, the Frankenmuth Police Department has received many comments from appreciation to quiet confidence about school safety.
“Suspects sometimes give slight indicators which you may observe indicating there may be issues going on in their lives which may jeopardize the safety of others,” he added.
“Please take time to report these suspicious behaviors to the school district or law enforcement.”
Because of concerns steaming from the tragic incident in Connecticut, several schools throughout Michigan closed just before Christmas break. Some closed because of “rumors” and others closed for safety.
Although Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark Reene didn’t elaborate on two incidents that are being investigated that closed schools in Tuscola County, Mawer’s statement about evil doers walking among us – even in this rural area – could be true.
“The situation in Cass City is still under investigation,” said Reene referring to the Dec. 12, 2012, incident where a 16-year old student allegedly stood up in the cafeteria and threatened to “shoot up the school.”
Because of that, Cass City School District officials reviewed safety procedures on Dec. 18, 2012, and make some changes.
“As for the incident in Millington (Schools)… it would have been a ‘very bad day’ based on evidence without the extraordinary efforts of the Tuscola County Sheriff and Millington Police Department,” said Reene noting an “extraordinary job” was also done in handling the incident in Cass City.”
In the Millington incident, two students were apprehended Dec. 18, 2012. One is charged with “terrorism,” which is a felony for alleged conduct involving threats to Millington High School students and to the high school. The other student is charged with felony offenses of assault with a dangerous weapon – three counts, and also for another incident previously at the school involving a razor blade. Plus, is also a “person of interest” regarding threats of terrorism.
At arraignment, the youths were remanded to a juvenile detention facility and denied bond.
Mary Drier is a staff writer for the Tuscola County Advertiser. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff writer Bill Petzold also contributed to this report.