School officials, police explain response to bomb threat at Holt High School

HOLT, Mich. (WLNS) – Just before 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, police were notified about a threat written on the wall of a Holt High School girls bathroom.

School officials began to put classrooms on lockdown, but as Holt Public Schools Superintendent David Hornak explained, it wasn’t just Holt students they had to worry about.

“We were hosting 8 different schools from outside the district and I felt compelled to tell those superintendents that their students were in a lockdown situation at Holt High School,” Hornak said. “What I didn’t necessarily have a handle on is that they were going to be communicating with their particular parent groups, and unfortunately what ended up happening is that our families were notified second.”

Hornak said he wishes that all parents had been notified at the same time.

However, Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth says, in situations like these, it’s a slippery slope when it comes to how much they tell parents and when.

“Is it safe to just say, hey there’s a bomb threat and everybody goes running out of the building,” Wriggelsworth said. “Does it create us problems if we notify the parents and they start showing up the school or telling their kids to get out of there while the dogs are searching and then you’re creating chaos.”

When all was said and done, both school officials and law enforcement said they feel they did the best they could with the information they had.

“In this case we felt, and as did the district, that the best case scenario was to wait to notify parents and the public until the school was cleared safe,” Wriggelsworth said.

“The safety of our students, staff and visitors remains our number one priority,” Hornak said. “I feel good about how we handled things today.”