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AG Nessel Reminds Residents of Potential Punishments for Making Threats Against Michigan Schools
February 07, 2023
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel reissued a video today that highlights the seriousness of making threats against schools after four local districts were the targets of swatting.
Swatting is defined as a prank call made to emergency services in an attempt to dispatch law enforcement to a particular location. Michigan State Police have reported that K-12 schools in Detroit, Jackson, Ann Arbor, and Okemos have been the victims of the prank calls this morning.
“Threats of violence in our schools disrupt the classroom, tax our local law enforcement agencies and harm our students’ sense of safety,” said Nessel. “Whether these are real threats made by those intent on doing harm or pranks made by kids trying to get a day off, they are real crimes with real consequences. It’s critical that adults and students alike understand the seriousness of these threats and the criminal charges they could face.”
In the video, Nessel explains the potential charges one could face if they make a threat of violence, which include:
- communicating a threat of terrorism, 20-year felony;
- calling in a bomb threat, a four-year felony;
- malicious use of a telecommunications device, a six-month misdemeanor; and
- threatening violence against school employee or student, a one-year misdemeanor.
Additionally, swatting could result in the following charges:
- false report of a crime, a 93-day misdemeanor;
- false report resulting in physical injury, a 5-year felony;
- false report resulting in a serious bodily impairment, a 10-year felony; and/or
- false report resulting in a death, a 15-year felony.
In addition to serving time in jail or prison, those that are found guilty of these crimes can face fines of up to $50,000.00.
The video can be viewed on the Department of Attorney General’s YouTube page.
If you receive a threat or know of a threat of violence against your community, please contact your local law enforcement.
You can also leave a tip with the state’s OK2SAY hotline by calling 8-555-OK2SAY (855-565-2729) or texting 652729 (OK2SAY). The hotline operates 24/7 and protects the confidentiality of the reporter’s identity.
OK2SAY, which is housed within the Michigan State Police, provides for confidential reports of potential self-harm, harm to others, or criminal acts including, but not limited to, sexual abuse, assault, or rape, directed at students, school employees, or schools in this state.