Supt. says student’s joke was ‘serious matter’

Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

BELLAIRE – A Bellaire Middle School student’s apparent joke to another classmate claiming he was carrying a handgun in his backpack – prompting a school-wide lockdown for approximately one hour last Wednesday morning – is being treated as a “serious matter,” according to school district superintendent Jim Emery.

Antrim County dispatchers received a 911 call at about 9:20 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 22, from a citizen reporting that a seventh-grade male student had been boasting to other students at the middle school and high school building that he had a loaded handgun stowed in his backpack, according to a press release from the Antrim County Sheriff’s Office.

School officials immediately put the school into lockdown after speaking with dispatchers. In a lockdown, all exterior and interior doors are locked and no one is permitted into the building except law enforcement. Classroom lights are also turned off.  Those remain in effect until law enforcement has proven through a school-wide sweep that no threat is present and an “all clear” is issued, allowing operations to return to normal.

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