December 2, 2022

Dear Wayne-Westland Community School District Community,

Weekly Letter to Students, Parents and Staff

As you know, safety is a top priority in our District. We continuously evaluate the safety measures we have in place to ensure we do everything we can to protect our students and staff from harm. Through this lens, I want to share a message with you about an upsetting trend affecting our state and country. Over the last few weeks, several school threats across Wayne County have been made in and out of school and on social media.


Recently, Attorney General Dana Nessel, shared this video with the State of Michigan regarding this concerning trend. This week, Wayne County Sheriff Raphael Washington and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy prepared a message to share with Wayne County students. As part of their message, Prosecutor Worthy shares, “Unfortunately, stories of school violence are a reality in our country. These incidents are often publicized in the news and social media, where school aged children consume them. Experience has taught us that the publicity of these types of events often prompt a small subset of students to make similar threats against their schools, teachers, or classmates. Some may think these kinds of threats are funny or not serious - but that is not true.” She continues, “In many of these cases, the individual making the threat seems genuinely shocked by how serious the consequences are for their actions. Often they make the threat thinking that it is not a big deal as long as they weren’t actually planning to carry it out. Michigan law, however, makes it a crime to make a threat, even if the person making the threat did not have the intent or the capability of actually carrying it out.

In the Wayne-Westland Community School District, any and all threats are taken seriously and thoroughly investigated. If someone reports a threat, we work closely with our public safety partners and support them throughout their investigation. If a student were to make a threat, not only would they be subject to discipline outlined in our WWCS Code of Conduct, but they would also face potential charges from the Wayne County prosecutor. Threats are not a joke. They compromise the safety and well-being of our school community.

As a school community, there are steps we can take to help prevent threatening situations like those that have been happening all over our county.

  • For our students and staff: We encourage our students to find trusted adults in their buildings and encourage our staff to focus on developing relationships with their students. When we focus on knowing our students, we create a culture where both students and staff feel comfortable speaking up when something doesn't seem right and when someone might need extra support.
  • For our parents and guardians: We strongly recommend monitoring your child’s electronic devices and social media accounts. Check them regularly. Talk to your child about what they are seeing and posting on social media and encourage them to share with you or a trusted adult if they see anything that threatens their safety or their peers. The US Department of Justice: Keeping children safe online webpage is a good place to start for online safety. If there are weapons in your home, public safety professionals recommend they are safely secured and stored. It’s also important to know that no weapons are ever permitted in our school buildings or on our school grounds.
  • For everyone in the state of Michigan: OK2SAY is a state-wide tip line and encourages confidential tips on potential harm or criminal activities directed at students, school employees, or schools. Their phone number is 855-565-2729 (8-555-OK2SAY). Their text number is 652729 (OK2SAY) and their email is OK2SAY@MI.GOV.

Our District will continue to make school safety a priority, and I hope you will join me in spending time talking with your children about the threats and consequences the young people who have made the threats are now facing. As we recognize the anniversary of the Oxford tragedy, we continue to send our love and support to the Oxford community and all who may find these next weeks difficult to process. This anniversary is a sobering reminder of why school districts and public safety professionals take threats so seriously.

Thank you for your partnership in making our schools safe for students to learn.


John Dignan, Ed.D.