APS issues statement on high threat from Alpena | News, Sports, Jobs

APS issues statement on high threat from Alpena | News, Sports, Jobs

ALPENA – Alpena Public Schools have closed Alpena High School due to a threat.

The district issued the following statement around 5 p.m. Friday:

“Early Thursday morning, three separate and independent events took place on the Alpena High School campus shortly before school started. Unfortunately, these events have been the subject of wild speculation and rumors on social media. This document aims to clarify what really happened.

The first isolated event involved a medical emergency on an APS bus for which an ambulance was dispatched. DPA officers responded as a precaution due to an unknown medical issue.

A second event involved a student in the hallway not following directions from school staff causing disruption to the school environment. As this event escalated and rose to the level of a potential risk to the safety of students and staff, our APS APD Liaison Officer was called in to help minimize the risk. Despite the rumor that a Taser had been used, only minor interventions took place. This incident was not linked to any other event.

A third event involved a small group of students carrying flags and memorabilia in support of another student involved in an argument on social media. The actions of this group caused a substantial disruption of the school day by creating a climate of intimidation. As directed by AHS administrators, the students removed their flags and memorabilia.

Throughout the day, the administration met with many parties to further investigate this event and determine the intent behind the students’ actions. The ramifications of the actions of a few students have had a negative impact on the entire student body, staff and community. As the investigation continued, students were held accountable for their choices in accordance with the Alpena High School Code of Conduct. Alpena Public Schools have made it clear that this type of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

After the end of the school day, the behaviors continued on social networks, exacerbating an already tense climate. Late Thursday evening, the Alpena Police Department was made aware of a potential threat of violence against the school. Working with the DPA, the APS administration determined that the best action to keep our students and staff safe was to close the school on Friday. As an added precaution, the administration worked with the DPA, the Sheriff’s Department and the Michigan State Police to increase the police presence in each of our school buildings that were in session.

After a thorough investigation that lasted most of the day on Friday, APS is happy to share that APD has finally determined that there is no real threat to the school. It was discovered that the information that led to the shutdown of AHS was due to the dissemination of erroneous information based on assumptions from an individual no longer living in the community of Alpena. This individual had social media connections to many members of our school community, resulting in a rapid and wide spread of a perceived threat.

Students from Alpena High School will return to campus on Monday. Support for students and staff will be put in place to respond to and deal with these events appropriately. High school students and families should check the AHS Weekly Parents Update for detailed information.

We are confident that our students and our community will come together and progress in a positive and productive way as a result of these events.

As with any situation of this nature, it is our responsibility to provide accurate and appropriate information to parents and our community in a timely manner. We appreciate the patience of the community as we strive to fulfill this responsibility. Alpena Public Schools are grateful for the continued partnership with the Alpena Police Department, Sheriff’s Department and Michigan State Police for their role in supporting our district and community.

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