Richmond Middle School dean resigns after death threat targets him, his family

Posted at 6:11 AM, Jan 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-10 19:14:43-05

(WXYYZ) — The Richmond Middle School dean has resigned after only 9 days on the job. That's because an antisemitic death threat targeting him and his family was found on the school grounds.

RELATED: Richmond schools closed until Monday after death threat targeting employee, their family

Last week classes were canceled at the school following the discovery of the threat. According to officials, that letter listed personal information and specific dates.

Now, another staff member has been targeted. They discovered the threat via email on Sunday night.

The email, according to a letter sent out by the district, said the staff member would be harmed if they didn't quit their job. It also had personal information and named specific individuals.

The district says this threat was different than the previous one last week because it came from an email and the letter was not left in the building.

"This is a wonderful community, and it's sad to see it happening," said Nancy Racicki.

Outside Richmond Middle School, parents and grandparents expressed more disbelief over the two separate threats.

"I find it really pathetic this is where we are. We're facing this and sending our kids to school under these circumstances," said Racicki.

School is back open now after an initial lockdown and closure after the incident.

Richmond Community Schools Superintendent Brian Walmsley said, “this was his first administrative position. In my eyes he’s going to be an outstanding administrator in whatever district he ends up in.”

As police have stepped up their presence at the middle school, the Jewish community is speaking out, calling what took place deeply troubling and saying antisemitism can happen anywhere.

“Tragically our schools are not safe spaces. We have to have each other's back. We have to close ranks and support victims of this kind of threat," said Rabbi Asher Lopatin of the Jewish Community Relations Council.

The dean who resigned has asked for privacy as he deals with what happened. So far, no arrests have been made. The school district says they are turning over all evidence to detectives.

“We have given them everything they have asked for in order to find the person that did this," said Walmsley.

Richmond police say the threatening letter is being processed for evidence by the Michigan State Police Crime Lab.