December 2, 2021
Dear FAPS Families, Students, and Staff,
The last few days have been difficult for many reasons. A neighboring school community is grieving and other school communities are battling anxiety, sadness, and fear among both students and adults. Fenton Area Public Schools experienced these feelings today due to a number of social media posts being shared among students and parents.
Due to the abundance of anxiety and tension within our school community, we have made the difficult decision to close schools tomorrow, Friday, December 3rd. This decision is based not only on the anxiety and fear felt among our families, but it is also due to the fact that our staff was overwhelmed with the number of phone calls, emails, and students being signed out during the school day. After today, we know that tomorrow will not be a successful learning day, and giving our staff and our families time to regroup and recover is the best action to take at this time.
During the school day, the district administration received multiple reports of threats against several area schools posted on social media. These threats have been deemed non-credible and both local and federal law enforcement agencies continue to investigate in order to find the original sources of the threats.
Since receiving the social media posts shared with us by parents and students, the Fenton Area Public Schools administration has been in constant communication with the Fenton Police Department. The police department has interviewed a number of students who have shared these posts. The investigation, thus far, has produced no source of the original threatening posts, but instead several second and third-hand reports from individuals sharing what they saw online. The Fenton Police Department continues to investigate, utilizing all of the resources available, to determine who is responsible for the original posts.
Given the extraordinary circumstances over the last few days, we will take tomorrow off and ask our community to please pause, talk to your children about making or sharing threats, the gravity of the criminal charges in making or sharing threats, and reassure them that we, as a community, are taking the necessary steps to provide a safe learning environment. When we return to school, this message will continue so our student body understands how serious these actions are and the severity of the consequences. Understanding these feelings will not subside quickly, Fenton police officers, along with FAPS counselors and social workers, will continue to be present and visible in our schools. Additional security, support, and assurance to students, parents, and staff will continue to be our priority.
We, along with the Fenton Police Department, respectfully ask our students, parents, and community to stop sharing the threats on social media platforms. This leads to duplicative reports that tie up resources and may distract from the needed investigations. Please provide all information, or tips, directly to the Fenton Police Department, OK2Say, or the Fenton Area Public Schools Administration.
Dr. Adam Hartley
Fenton Area Public Schools