BY BENJAMIN J. GOHS, EDITOR
Boyne City Police continue to investigate the vandalism and threatening message found at Boyne City High School last week.
According to Boyne City Police Chief Jeff Gaither, his department has interviewed numerous individuals but there are still no persons of interest.
“We’re actively pursuing whoever did it, and now waiting for lab results from the MSP (Michigan State Police) evidence lab,” Gaither told the Boyne City Gazette on Monday Oct. 2.
In addition to a broken window, there was what Gaither referred to as a general or generic “bomb type threat.”
“There was no person targeted and no names mentioned,” he said.
Gaither asked anyone with information to call his office at (231) 582-6611.
“I know this incident is on people’s minds and we are having regular contact with the school,” he said. “We obviously want everyone to be safe and feel safe and comfortable in that learning environment.”
The incident was discovered and the high school was off-limits early Monday morning on Sept. 25.
“Prior to school starting this morning, it was discovered by Boyne (City Public Schools) maintenance staff that items were thrown through a first-floor window at Boyne City High School,” Boyne City Public Schools Superintendent Pat Little said in a statement last week. “A message was attached to the items containing threatening language. Upon discovery, a decision was made to lock-down the high school so staff and students would not enter the building.”
Staff and students followed safety protocols and reported to the middle school until law enforcement completed a safety inspection.
Boyne City Police Department and Charlevoix County Sheriff Office were on-site to conduct a visual inspection and review surveillance video.
The Michigan State Police Canine Unit was also called in to finish the inspection.
“After visual and canine inspection of the BCHS, it was determined by law enforcement that the building was safe for student re-entry,” stated Little. “BCPS appreciates the collected manner in which staff and students handled this disruption in the normal operation of the school day, as well as, the support of law enforcement.”
On Friday Sept. 29, Little told the Boyne City Gazette that, on Tuesday morning after the incident, Boyne City High School Principal Karen Jarema met with the student body in the auditorium during the first few minutes of school.
“She sent a very positive but direct message to students about the importance of safety at school,” Little said. “Mrs. Jarema praised students and staff for how they handled the situation Monday morning. She was clear about how to report any information that a student might have about the incident.”
He added, “At the end, she spoke passionately about what it means to be a Rambler and how this person’s actions are in direct opposition to the spirit of being a Boyne City Rambler.”