Update from Dr. Shultz on Swatting Incidents

False Reports Called in at Other Districts
Posted on 02/07/2023
Update from the Superintendent, Dr. Carl Shultz

February 7, 2023

Dear Bedford Parents, Staff, and Community:

Today, a number of Michigan school districts throughout the state were affected by false reports of an active shooter on their campuses. From what we understand, schools received internet-based phone calls with these threats, which turn out to be unsubstantiated. It appears to be part of a hoax known as “swatting” that is targeting schools across the country.

Swatting incidents – threats made to schools with the purpose of triggering a response by police and first responders – create fear and panic throughout school communities and disrupt first responder agencies. States across the U.S. have experienced similar mass swatting attempts in recent weeks, including the several incidents from schools in Michigan today.

While BPS did not experience this issue directly, we know many of our staff and families may be understandably concerned about school safety. As a reminder, I want to take a moment to share with you what the district has been doing in the last several years to prepare in the event of a crisis at one of our schools. Our District Safety Team continuously works to identify best practices to ensure that we maintain safe and comfortable learning spaces. This includes routine meetings with the Monroe County ISD Staff as well as the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and Michigan State Police. In coordination with these offices and departments, BPS staff at our schools are currently trained in ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) as a way to provide appropriate response options to staff and students. We routinely practice this strategy in each building with all our students and staff. In addition, many new and updated safety features and equipment have been installed throughout each school building (new state of the art camera systems in schools and on buses, lock-down devices on all classroom doors, secured entryways at each building for visitors, new security radios for key personnel, and new classroom windows with emergency egress capabilities). These new systems are in addition to our two full-time sheriff deputies who are employed within the district.

We encourage our students and school community to report anything that could be a threat to school safety. We work closely with all local and state law enforcement leaders and officers to assist in these situations.

Lastly, I’m asking that you take this opportunity to help me in reminding all students:

• It is never appropriate to joke about weapons or make a claim of violence within a school setting. There are extreme and permanent consequences legally and through the district for any student who takes part in threats (whether jokingly or not).
• If you hear or see something that causes concern to you, the first thing you should do is contact an adult.
• If you share this concerning item electronically or otherwise with other students, you incite fear and possibly chaos that distracts from the learning/business of the school.
• Once you have reported an issue to an adult, do not continue to discuss this with other students.
• If you feel the need to continue discussing this because it is on your mind, we have counselors who can talk about it with you.

Thank you again for your cooperation and support.

Dr. Carl Shultz
Superintendent, Bedford Public Schools

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