BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Friday morning began like any other typical day in the Schulte household. Jennifer put her youngest daughter on the bus headed for school while her husband dropped off their eldest daughter at the middle school located a few blocks from home. Then someone knocked on her door. It was her little girl.
“The bus driver had dropped her back off at home,” said Schulte during an interview at her home. “So I ran outside and tried to catch the bus driver. She told me that there was a bomb threat.”
Immediately, Schulte called the middle school and asked about it she said. They confirmed the threat and within minutes she was at the school picking up her eldest daughter, an 8th grader.
“We went down to the school and [it was] chaotic,” said Schulte describing what she saw. “I mean lots of parents trying to get into the school. We don’t know what’s going on. So of course some of them are in a little bit of a panic.”
Schulte said she signed in, like all parents were asked to do, found her daughter and left. She said it was so “chaotic” that her car's tail light was hit when she was trying to get out of the parking lot. Meanwhile, her husband got a phone alert about the threat. That was the last time Schulte said she heard from the school.
“We haven’t heard anything,” said 34-year-old mother of three. “The last thing we got from the school was a message on Friday evening saying there was still going to be a middle school lock-in at the high school on Saturday evening.”
Her eighth grader didn’t attend the annual event, Schulte said, as she waited on an update from the school about the threat made Friday or the first one on Wednesday. Both prompted school closings. The Battle Creek Police Department posted on social media that they don’t think anyone’s in danger. But nothing from the school she said. So when classes resumed Monday, she kept them at home.
“I know there are a lot of parents keeping their kids home,” said Schulte. “I mean my kids are home today, my two girls, because I don’t know if it’s safe.”
Lakeview Schools superintendent David Peterson said it’s safe for students to return the school. He addressed the media Monday afternoon saying that the investigations into both threats are still ongoing. He also clarified another concern among parents about the time the second threat was made.
“The threat actually came at 12:06 I think was the timestamp on the voicemail and it said that the bomb-threat was for tomorrow” said Peterson at District offices on Arbor Street. “We acted that that was Thursday morning at 12:06, so the threat was for Friday.”
Peterson said the message was left on a generic voicemail and not on anyone’s direct line. He said they immediately changed that so that all in-coming calls are on someone’s mailbox. He also mentioned that people reaching out to the media about the threat knew about it before police did.
“The only people that should know that was a Thursday 12:06 timestamp would be my tech director, the police department, and my safety officer,” said Schulte. “There's somebody in or community that know exactly who made this threat and when it was called in.”
Schulte, like the police and superintendent, are wondering who’s behind all these threats. She said this year they’ve have more threats than snow days. But she hopes the person is caught soon and the school notifies them throughout the investigation.
“I just wish I knew that somebody would let us know more detail about what happened, whats going on, what they’re doing to take pre-cautious measures,” said Schulte. “Right now it’s just kind of up in the air. Do we send them? Do we not send them?”