(WXYZ) — Nearly 50 people in Macomb County alone have been charged with threats of violence against a school, a staff member, or a student this year. That is a 50-percent increase from last year.
Early this week a Ferndale middle school and high school were closed after two separate threats were made toward the schools.
Just Wednesday afternoon, Taylor High School, South Lyon East, South Lake High School, and Novi Meadows reported school threats that led to either closures or temporary lockdowns.
"The hardest part is being scared about your kid's safety. That is the hardest part," Ferndale dad Damon Robinson said.
It’s been an all too common scenario this week in metro Detroit. Police and districts have responded to several threats and in at least one case, a teen suspect has been locked up in a juvenile facility as a result.
"We are reviewing more on a weekly basis and those kids are walking away with criminal convictions so it is no joke," Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said.
In Taylor, police say a "straight A student" was behind a threat on social media. Detectives traced the Instagram post to the 14-year-old’s home, and he was taken to juvenile court.
They say he's never had any previous disciplinary issues and admitted that the threatening message was "a prank."
But these threats aren't jokes to county prosecutors like Peter Lucido who sent a letter out to Macomb County residents reminding students of the harsh penalties that can face with these threats. That includes 20 years if convicted on a threat of terrorism.
Lucido also said parents could be on the hook for paying for county and local government resources.
All of this happening as we are less than two weeks away from the 1 year anniversary of a deadly school shooting in Oxford, a somber reminder that violence in schools, even the threat of it is no laughing matter.