Police Investigate Online Threat Against West Michigan Teen

COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (June 3, 2014) – A 13-year-old girl in Ottawa County is sent a picture of a gun online and told to watch her back.

Now, administrators at Coopersville Middle School and deputies with the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department are involved.

“He sent me a picture of a gun saying nobody blackmails my girlfriend and gets away with it,” Mariah Bysma, 13, said.

It’s a threat neither Mariah or her mom Judy Bylsma take lightly.

“I just want to hold her next to me; I just don’t want to let her go,” Judy said. “I even got an extra lock for her for the door so the doors can stay locked.”

Mariah says she received the message through Google Plus on Wednesday from a boy at her school.

It says  “You better watch your back. I will hurt you.  No one blackmails my girlfriend and gets away with it.”  The message was accompanied by a picture of a black handgun.

Mariah says she was scared and didn’t want to go to school the next day so she faked sick.

Mariah says she’s been bullied all year, even put on antidepressants.  She says when she told the Coopersville Principal about the message, she says he didn’t report it to police.

“I said ‘Why didn’t you tell me this sooner?’ and she said well the principal hasn`t done anything about bullying because people have been bullying her all year long and she thought it was useless,” Judy said.

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department says the student that sent the message has been suspended.  They thoroughly checked his home and determined he has no access to weapons and that the picture of the gun was found online.

“I don`t know if the gun was real or not but it was scary and I`m afraid sometime he will just pop out of nowhere and kill me,” Mariah said.

School authorities say it happened outside of school so it’s a police matter and they’re taking the cautious approach and removing all students involved pending the investigation. An alert was sent to parents informing them of the situation.

Mariah doesn’t plan to return to school for the last few days, which is devastating for a young girl who just wants to fit in.

“I just want everyone, I want to get along with everyone and I just want to be friends, no bullying,” she said.

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department says they’re still investigating this case and plan to present it to the prosecutor this week to decide on whether or not charges will be filed.

Mariah’s family says they’re signing her up for self-defense classes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

35 comments

  • PISSED OFF DAD

    My kid received death threats while attending school in ottawa county.
    We showed the text to the school and an Ottawa county deputy and demanded charges be pressed.
    They did nothing, in fact, the next semester my kid sat right next to the boy who threatened to kill her.
    She had to leave the school…

    Guess we din't contribute enough cash to WO

    • Kat Bylsma

      Schools these days are nothing but a danger zone and hell for most students. They let everything go that is the worst cases, yet punish students for little to nothing with detention. what has this society come to, the schools basically give permission to harm other stupdits and long as they dont get and attitude with school officials or do some minor stupid think they are all good. The problem is they only punish for minor incidents that are nothing compared to what my sister and other students go through daily. Something needs to be done about this, it will never get better without something being done.

  • Jeremy Bylsma

    I Understand why your upset, its bullcrap that school's are not takeing there own bullying laws/rules seriousliy when they should, i think the only reason anything was done about the threats to my sister was because of the story been reported to several news stations, i hope your daughter's doing better now and is not getting any more threats like that though.

    • PISSED OFF DAD

      Thank You.
      It took two years of treatment and a few trips to the hospital for ulcers but she's doing better at here new school.

  • Judy

    the principle need to be fired she has been slapped in the hall way and nothing was done, she has been bullied all year, and are now getting them in trouble

  • Judy

    he has a history of doing this to other kids for years, and the parents blame my daughter for what happened, the boys parents

    • judy

      the principal. he really needs to be fired ,this proves he doesn't care about the kids, i called him several times about some kids bulling her. and he did nothing

  • Patrick

    This same principle has failed with our own children when it comes to bullying. How about a Fox17 investigation into how he ignores all examples brought to his attention. How he doesn’t care and brushes it aside. How many children do we have to loose to violence and suicide?

    • Kat Bylsma

      oh, something will be done, I am reporting this to as many people as possible to get the word out. The Grand Rapids contacted my mother today. they want to make a headline artical about this situations. I know Coopersville Schools are not the only one treating and take chances on our children life. We as parents need to come up with a way to protect out kids. I am not sure how to do that but I was thinking maybe we could write up a legalized petition and take it where ever it will be taken care of. I will be looking into this or contacting someone who can enforce the bullying rules are enforced or legal action will be taken to the staff who does not what they have to to have it taken care of. I will be looking for something to try to fix this further for my sisters scool and every other school in the USA

  • jerry

    more lazy school principles doing a wothless job . teachers union backs the bone head system fire most all of them and hire real people

  • guest

    My concern lies in the fact that those commenting on this story may have attended Coopersville Schools and still cannot string as few words together into a decent sentence.

    • Kat Bylsma

      the principal. he really needs to be fired ,this proves he doesn't care about the kids, i called him several times about somI also agree the police are to blame as much. The Principle has only been released for the remainder of the year and still has his job. I would also like to let Mr. Guest know that Coopersville Public School has an awesome education program. Why do you think so many parents have their kids attending the school system, including school of choice, where the parents have to drive their children to the school. Look the school education system up it will prove so. The issue is particularly with this specific principle Psaler not caring about what happens to his students and not taking the actions that need to be taken to protect out children in the Coopersville School System. So let me ask you where you have seen or found that us who have attended Coopersville school systems can not string words together into a descents sentence. If you Seem to think that I am wrong about this, hit me up and I will prove that you are 100% dead wrong and maybe it is you that should look at your schooling and take a long at at the kind of person you are. I've come across people like you my whole life, who see to think they are better then everybody. You are no different than the principle as I see it. No one person is better than the next. Maybe everybody has something they are better at than the next but that makes nobody better than the next person.e kids bullying her and he did nothing. If you would like me to prove that I have no issue with complete sentences feel free to faacebook me at Kat Krbex

      • Kat Bylsma

        the principal really needs to be fired ,this proves he doesn't care about the kids, i called him several times about some kids bulling her. and he did nothing

      • Kat Bylsma

        Thought I would fix my mothers errors as I did not realize she was already commenting to you, maybe I should fix the rest since I disrupted her in the process hmm lets see it should all say

        this principal really needs to be fired ,this proves he doesn't care about the kids. I called him several times about the bullying she had gone through all year and nothing has been done by him. However when she got a hold of vice principle Merman he took action immediately.

        This is how it should have been and also, sry I hit and x, my facebook name is Kat Krbez

  • Kat Bylsma

    I also agree the police are to blame as much. The Principle has only been released for the remainder of the year and still has his job. I would also like to let Mr. Guest know that Coopersville Public School has an awesome education program. Why do you think so many parents have their kids attending the school system, including school of choice, where the parents have to drive their children to the school. Look the school education system up it will prove so. The issue is particularly with this specific principle Psaler not caring about what happens to his students and not taking the actions that need to be taken to protect out children in the Coopersville School System. So let me ask you where you have seen or found that us who have attended Coopersville school systems can not string words together into a descents sentence. If you Seem to think that I am wrong about this, hit me up and I will prove that you are 100% dead wrong and maybe it is you that should look at your schooling and take a long at at the kind of person you are. I've come across people like you my whole life, who see to think they are better then everybody. You are no different than the principle as I see it. No one person is better than the next. Maybe everybody has something they are better at than the next but that makes nobody better than the next person.

  • Rob

    Yeah, it;s great that mom has found a chance to get herself some media attention.

    Shame on this woman for using this situation in this manner. Kids do dumb things and, yes, it should be taken seriously but to appear on TV and have your child on TV?

    This is just bad parenting.

    • Kathryn Bylsma

      okay so you are saying that it is okay for nobody to do nothing about this and chance her life next near when the same principle is back. the one who does nothing about anything, not even the serious shit. I don't agree. My mother did what she had to do to get this out and taken care of since the proper people chose not to. Oh and btw, I am her older sister, I am 29 years old and I am the one that put them in the situation to be on t.v and pressed them to do so. You wanna know why, cause it is not just her, it is not just Coopersville, it is many schools and it is getting beyond ridiculous at this point, things are getting out of hand and going to far, children's lives are being put in danger cause the proper people fail to do their jobs properly. What about our children and all other children's safety, should they not feel safe and be safe in a school environment. Do you even have children or are they just not the ones to get bullied cause they are part of it. I dont think you have a clue. Go observe a school environment with students know you are paying attention. I have done volunteer work in my sister class and my sons, I've personally seen how cruel these kids can be. It surpasses what you are seeing as bullying, so go take a look for yourself Sir, maybe you will understand why I did what I did then!

  • Rob

    And then using this forum. Wow.

    So let's correct some facts.

    1, One does not take psychoactive medication because someone is bullying you. You take these medications for diagnosable mental health disorders. There is no disorder "caused" by bullying.

    2. While this should be reported smart parents realize young teens do wild things. Overreacting is a bad idea. You report it and allow the authorities to handle the situation.

    3. The mother's behavior is inappropriate. One only need read the comments on this page to see the almost paranoid overreaction. There are things which can be done, like seeking a personal protection order, rather than appearing on TV.

    Sadly this young woman is learning awful lessons from her mother. While the boy never had any business sending threats, when one is faced with difficult situations this kind of response is not helpful, especially given the likely teasing the daughter will face at school as a result of this interview and other media acting up.

    This is mom not knowing what to do and striking out in a bizarre and harmful manner which clearly does not serve the interests of her child. It is not hard for me to imagine the child requiring medication for depression, I just hope it is actually her disorder for which it's been prescribed and not a situational depression created by exposure to lots of poor parenting.

  • judy bylsma

    you know nothing

    about me obviously, i did not want to be on t.v but was told to, so the situation would shed some light on this and then maybe something will finally get done.

    • Rob

      Um, yes you did.

      You put yourself on TV, you put your child on TV and you put what should be confidential information about your child on TV.

      This is NOT an act of good parenting. The police are involved, they handle it.

      Frankly, reading all the comments by your family it stuns me you have little insight into how sel serving you are, it is one "I" statement after another.

  • Kathryn bylsma

    you know nothing about me and my own family so where do you have the right to say anything about bad parenting, you know nothing of us, nor the extent of the situation, yet you wanna judge me and them. Know what your Judging before you do so, nobody deserves to be judge by an unknown sound because of what they assume. I just did you what you did to me

    • Rob

      Sadly you come here along with the crew and demonstrate your poor parenting skills for all to see.

      I am very comfortable in my observations which you've confirmed.

  • Nick

    To correct you sir bullying is 99% of mental health disorders amoung teens in america today that is why the laws have been made to prevent such measures if u dont believe me look up the suicide rate amoung young teens find some of the names and read there stories i garentee u that they were bullied how i know is i was just like one of these kids im now 19 years old and everyday i struggle with being accepted by others and believing they accept me for who i am i have attempted to take my own life several times because i was bullied i was labeled manic depressive but i am not on any medication because i choose to fight it with my own head then with the aid of medicine the only thing medicine does is open your mind to reciving the help u need mariah is afraid for her life which is understable as she is only 13 years old i mean when u were 13 did this ever happen to you? Probably not wanna know how i got kids from the same school to stop bullyig me i got in to fights if u want proof ask them for my records or find otto copeland and ask him how many times and days i spent bawling my eyes out in his office from being bullied he knew my frustration and he was what helped me make it throgh that hell hole the last year i attended coopersville was the begining half of mr phalers first year there and when i got bullied he did not do much of anything aside from let me sit cry it out and then send me back to class with a note from him excusing my absense he did not ever speak to the kids bullying me like mr copeland did that was why when i moved away i was the happiest kid ever or so i thought until it sank in so far that i was so depressed i never made friends cuz i was scared of rejection truth is to this day i only have 3 or 4 good friends because of the torement i went through and as far as spelling goes i have one question do u believe the world is perfect whole heartedly because if u do then ur not allowed to make mistakes either and if thats how u live ur probably no better then the children who bully people at this school and many like it the world is not a perfect place we all. Make mistakes we are human all i have to say to u is please settle down and realize ur only empowering us to speak out. More and more i can find more kids from this school just like me and mariah and jeremy her older brother we were all bullied and nothing was ever done the only principal i liked there was before i went there and.that was mr fox he always stood up for the kids who were upset i remember when i was in elementary shool i got bullied by a middle schooler and the next day mr fox had suspended him for 3 days because of it so trust me if u continue to bash us just as those kids of our time and kids of mariahs time are we will rise up and take action by petition and stand up for our laws that have been made to protect us

  • Kathryn bylsma

    number one: the bulling cause the depression after dealing with it after 7 months straight of bullying.

    number two: A Threat on ones life? We are overreacting? Excuse me, pretend this was your child, how would you react. Would you not do everything possible to protect your child. Also, hello you obviously did read the part where neither my mom or sister wanted to be on live t.v. I as her older sister followed through with contacting fox 17 when they came across the story themselves. I pushed them to do it. I convinced them to do it. Like I said, you know nothing obviously of all this yet you wanna judge what you dont know. This principle is the issue, this principle not caring for the safety of his students is what pushed me to go further than necessary. Something has to be done. My sister is not the only child this has happened to, if I ad to guess from what parents have come to me about their own children. I would say close to %50 of the middle school has been going through at least something similar and some just as severe as this. The Principle is my issue, my focus, you did not here my interview because it was not shown. The school chooses only to suspend him for a week, yes I will make one hell of a big deal and over react as I see fit

    number thee: My mother is being over protective like she always has, she is taking extra precautions, we live in a small town, I grew up here, so did she, we have both seen how things can turn out. My Aunt, two cousin were shot, burned alive, and who knows what else. So yes you wanna call it over reacting, go for it, I call it taking extra precautions, being smart and preventing something from happening it someone tried. Oh, also if you wanna bash on a person, do so to myself, I got them to do this when they did not want too. got a problem take it up with me, you wanna do it off this site, facebook me my name is Kat Krbez

    • Rob

      You are all about you.

      Putting the child's psychiatrist information and name on-line serves no legitimate purpose.

      Your experience with trauma apparently needs some treatment so it does not end up adding to the suffering the children. They need to grow up free of your issues.

      Bullying does not cause depression lack of coping skills does, something we see in abundance on this forum as with the other.

  • Kathryn bylsma

    Oh, maybe I should mention that I personally was never bullied, however I did not stand for it nor tolerate it, not then, not now. I grew up here in coopersville, I went to Coopersville school and I can promise you that yet their was bullying yet not to this extent, not this degree, like i said, go observe 4th through 8th grand classes, then tell me how you feel or what you think. Like I've said already just doing volunteering for a class a couple hours a month, I have personally seen how bad it had gotten. It was nothing like this 20 to 15 years ago. check it out, have you not see the news. Kids getting shot, stabbed and killled. Where do you think that steams from, think about this, bullying has a hell of a lot to do with this. Bullying does not help with mental stability at all. It pushes those children to the edge and the results are never good. Thank you Nick, for helping me make my point a little more clean. Apparently this guy knows all and we know nothing even though we can provide poof, yes he doesn't think he does wrong and is perfect so yes Nick he is just as bad as these kids as you can see from his posts. Good thing we are all adults cause he is pushing the bullying laws already himself. He must never have been bullied a day in his life and must a have been one of the biggest bullies if he can't see this as it truly is!

  • Kathryn bylsma

    oh I forgot, just cause I was not bullies myself, doesn't mean I stood for it and does not mean I do not understand where these kids are coming from. I spent years standing up for my brothers who were bullied. I get it, I don't stand for it, I wont tolerate it. Not then, not now, not ever. I will do what I can. I don't care how I get it done even if I have to go to the media when i do not want to, even though they actually came to me

  • Rob

    One only need read the posts by the family members to understand just how troubled we can expect any child to be.

    For people who've stood up to bullies who will not stand for things does it occur to them their methods are obviously not working.

    Read all the "I" statements. Is this about the 13 year old or about the adults?

    One can only imagine what it is like to live with people who act up in this manner.

    The victim is pushed into a corner while the family goes wild.

    Situation depression can certainly result from being bullied, but it cannot be medicated. Giving a child an anti-depressant is not going to make a situational depression go away. One has to deal with the bullying.

    Of course we can see the bullies right here on-line and how sad it is the family of the victim who becomes invisible as mom, grand mom and big sister are busy with their crusade.

    sad

  • Renee

    It is awful that something like this happened, especially since it was brought on by bullying, but while people are jumping to Mariah's defense, I would just like to remind them that I know the family. While, yes, she is bullied, she is MORE OFTEN THE BULLY. It is disgusting that she was threatened, but she isn't an innocent victim in this.

    • Rob

      Renee, I find that very believable given how the family has responded here and on MLIVE.
      http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/

      Given how the mother, the grandmother and the older sister respond to people one can easily see there is far more to this story. The three of them are abusive and out of control. Sadly I imagine the victim in this case has picked up the same traits.

  • hypnosis anxiety

    Ghost-type Pokemon are weakest to psychic-types, so you have a fair selection at this point in the game:
    use a Kadabra (evolved form Abra, found outside Goldenrod City), Drowzee, Natu (found in Ruins of
    Alph), or a Togetic (evolved from the Togepi hatched from the egg you received early in the game).
    Hypnosis was originally with stage hypnotists and magicians, would you
    make people do cheeky or bizarre things under hypnosis.
    With feminization self hypnosis it is guaranteed that you will feel, act and behave totally
    according to your feminine side; that is already there just waiting to be realised
    and experienced in its most beautiful and
    glorious way.

  • Jeremiah

    I have made friends from England and Poland and till now we’ve been sharing the poker news, job poker related offers,
    etc. Apart from this, you can opt for cash games which virtually give the largest single-hand return in profit.
    Perfect hairstyles for summer eliminate the need for excessive heat
    styling while keeping hair away from the face.