Alma Public Schools Superintendent addresses threat towards high school

Superintendent Stacey Criner discussed details surrounding a threat made to Alma High School.
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 5:24 PM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) -Alma Public Schools Superintendent Stacey Criner talked to TV 5 about threats aimed at the high school. Criner tells us the school district worked with authorities to investigate the threat after a tip came in September 21st. It was determined that there was no active threat to students and staff. Criner told us three students were expelled on Tuesday. She did not say if the trio was connected to the threat.

“I can’t speak to student discipline. I just have to go back to the fact that there was a student one, student two, student three, disciplinary hearing that occurred on Tuesday,” Criner said.

Criner tells us there were posts on social media tied to the threat that popped up on Wednesday. These posts were also investigated. And again, it was determined that there was no active threat to students and staff. Criner knows there were some parents who decided to hold their kids out of school Friday. But she wants them to know her school is safe.

“Our safety protocols are in place. They’re strong, they worked effectively, efficiently, and timely in this particular fashion, in this particular incident. And they will continue to do so in the future,” Criner said.

Criner tells us the investigation began thanks to a call to the OK2SAY tip line.

“I absolutely am thankful that we had students who were brave and strong and utilized a program that, in my opinion, worked extremely successfully,” Criner said.

But Criner did say one thing that could use a little work is how the district communicates with parents when threats are made.

“When you see some of the information that’s been released on social media, it’s definitely creating emotional responses. And that’s something that we want to make sure that we prevent through communication in the future,” Criner said.

The school district sent a letter to parents regarding the threat. It reads…

Parents, Families, and Community;

APS posted information to all five APS school websites, Facebook pages, and our Alma Public Schools app on September 23rd. The following are the facts I can disclose.

During the late hours of September 21, 2022, Alma Public Schools received information that appeared to be a threat toward Alma High School through a State Police tip line called OK2SAY.

The Alma Police Department and Gratiot Police Department worked with school administration on September 22, 2022, using a MOSAIC threat assessment tool and investigative interviews to determine that there was not an active threat to the high school students and staff.

After this decision was made, APD and APS pushed a press release and information alert.

On September 27th, the Board of Education held three closed session discipline hearings. The due process hearings were concluded with three Board supported motions of expulsion. Alma Police Department will investigate and pursue any necessary criminal charges separate from Alma Public Schools’ investigation and discipline decisions.

No new information had surfaced that changed the safety of our students. Alma Public Schools and Alma Police Department are fully aware of the various statements and images posted on social media platforms on Wednesday, September 28th into this evening. The Alma Police Department has continued to investigate all tips and rumors. Alma Public Schools has a direct and open line of communication with the Alma Police Department and anything reported to OK2SAY.

The Alma Police Department has investigated all leads up to the time of this communication.