Attorney General Nessel addresses swatting incidents at Michigan schools

Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 11:58 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 7, 2023 at 5:18 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel reissued a video Tuesday that highlighted the seriousness of making threats against schools after nearly a dozen districts in Michigan were the targets of swatting.

Background: Okemos High School hoax threat one of many Michigan schools affected

Swatting is defined as a prank call made to emergency services in an attempt to dispatch law enforcement to a particular location.

“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.”

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.

Nessel explains the potential charges one could face if they make a threat of violence, which includes:

  • 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.

Those that are found guilty of these crimes can face fines of up to $50,000.00, in addition to jail or prison time.

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.

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