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Student arrested for school violence threats

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By Judy Reed

A threat of school violence on social media got a 17-year-old student arrested last week.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, last Friday morning, September 30, students at Cedar Springs High School reported to the administration that they saw a threat on a social media website referencing a school shooting. The Kent County Sheriff Department and the administration then began to investigate the threat.

According to Superintendent Dr. Laura VanDuyn, the administration officials immediately notified Kent County Sheriff Department’s School Resource Officer Tom McCutcheon. He and detectives investigated the matter, and determined there was no threat to students.

A 17-year-old Cedar Springs student was arrested in connection to the threat, but the teen’s name has not yet been released. The investigation is still open.

The Post received a phone call from a parent Friday morning, who stated that several students, including her daughter, were upset because they had heard about the threat through social media, but no one at the school was talking about it with the students. According to VanDuyn, an announcement was made to the students about it.

“The safety and security of our students and staff is most important to us,” said VanDuyn, in a letter sent to staff and parents. “We take all concerns about safety and security very seriously. We are working to assure our students, staff, parents and community that there is no cause for concern for safety.

“This is an isolated incident that was spread through social media. Both the CSPS District and the KCSD will act swiftly and properly to handle this matter with regard to Board Policy, State law and student discipline code.

“I want to thank our students for reporting this matter to the high school administration and the SRO. I want to thank our administrators, SRO and KCSD for handling this matter so well.

“I encourage parents to reassure your children that there is no reason for concern. I would also encourage you to talk with your children about internet and social media safety and proper use.

“Please call me at any time on my cell or office phone, should you have questions or concerns.”

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