Individual made statements via video game


IMLAY CITY — An increased police presence was seen on Imlay City Schools’ campus on Tuesday after threatening statements were directed toward a student on Friday.

According to a letter sent to parents by Supt. Dr. Stu Cameron, a Borland Elementary student reported an individual threatened them via a chat feature on a video game platform the student had accessed with a district-issued laptop computer.

“These statements were evaluated by Imlay City Police officers, school administrators and the district’s School Resource Officer, Cory Martin, with the purpose of assessing whether the statements were credible,” Cameron wrote.

“The team determined the statements are not credible, and that no Borland students were, or are, in danger. Because the video game platform is web based, the individual who made these statements could be located anywhere in the United States or the world, for that matter, where there is internet access.”

Cameron said district staff will determine if they can pinpoint the local or identity of the individual who made the threats and turn over any relevant information “to make sure the responsible party is punished to the full extent of the law.” The decision to increase the police presence on campus this week was “out of an abundance of caution,” he noted.

The district utilizes a filtering system that blocks non-educational games or sites that are flagged an “inappropriate” for children. Cameron said the platform accessed in this instance was not approved by the district for student use and has since been blocked from the school’s network.

Cameron encouraged parents to talk with their children about proper technology use and the importance of communicating about potentially threatening statements they could encounter.

“Timely communication is the most effective way to maintain a safe environment in our schools. I want to commend our student for reporting these statements to parents and school officials in order for the district to examine them and react appropriately,” he said.

Schools and law enforcement remain on high alert for potential violence in the aftermath of a school shooting in Texas last week that resulted in the death of 19 students and two teachers.