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Atherton Community Schools taking new security measures following recent threats

By Jake Vigna

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    BURTON, Michigan (WNEM) — Atherton Community Schools is resorting to new security measures following recent threats made to the district.

Superintendent John Ploof sent a letter to parents today about the new measures, saying it’s “unfortunate that these measures need to be implemented.”

“Due to the recent airdrop threats on Tuesday, Oct. 25, we must have measures in place to maintain safety and security,” he wrote.

Under the new measures, each building will have an armed security officer present during the school day. Ploof said the district is contracting with Premier Security Solutions for retired or current police officers; many have prior experience as school resource officers.

Ploof also said metal detectors have been installed at Atherton Junior Senior High School, and all students will be screen as they enter the building. Metal detector wands also will be utilized, and all backpacks, purses, and bags will be searched as students enter the building each day.

The district also will restrict the use of backpacks. It has ordered clear, see-through backpacks for each student, and those will be the only backpacks students will be allowed to carry throughout the day. Ploof said the backpacks will be distributed when they arrive next week.

Ploof said he’s not taking the recent threat lightly.

“I would like to remind our students that making these types of threats by Airdrop or any other means is extremely serious and, as stated by Prosecutor David Leyton, is punishable by up to 20 years in prison,” Ploof wrote. “A caution to all parents and students that any continued airdropped messages of this nature may result in the confiscation of a student’s cellphone. Students are encouraged to leave their phones in their lockers during school hours to avoid the phone being confiscated during investigation.”

Ploof said that in the coming weeks the district will release a revised calendar to make up the three days of school students missed this week.

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