Oxford Community Schools were among a number of school districts in the north of Auckland that received threatening phone calls on Friday that law enforcement agencies saw as unreliable.
Ken Weaver, Oxford’s inspector, posted a statement Friday on the county’s website explaining that Oxford High School’s counseling office had received three consecutive phone calls that were “inherently threatening.” The school’s resources officer answered the last call, Weaver said.
“An immediate investigation has been launched by the Auckland County Sheriff’s Office. At this point, through their investigation the Auckland County Sheriff’s Office has seen that the threats are unreliable, and we are continuing with our scheduled scheduled school day,” Weaver said in the post.
A number of other Auckland County counties received similar calls or threats on Friday around 1 p.m., including Lake Orion and Brandon school counties, the Auckland County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Friday.
Spokesman Steve Hoover said a caller threatened someone with a weapon in incidents, but the threats were later considered unreliable by law enforcement.
Hoover said representatives have surveyed the area around the schools and believe the call came from outside the state.
Mark Snyder, a spokesman for Lake Orion Community Schools, said principals at Lake Orion High School received a “specific concern” on Friday and law enforcement agencies received an immediate notice.
Snyder declined to say if the concern was a phone call or otherwise.
“The students were kept in their classrooms while an investigation was conducted. The concern, which was reported to several schools in the area, was considered unreliable and the students continued their day as planned,” Snyder said.
High school principal Stephen Hawley sent a message to parents saying the students remained in locked classrooms for a short period of time when law enforcement authorities investigated and then determined the concern was unreliable.
“The students continued on their normal day and stayed safe,” Hawley said.
Hauli has asked students, parents and school staff to unite as a community to end “this disruption in student learning.”
“I urge you to talk to your children now and impress them on the severity of the threats of any kind in today’s society. Ask them to let you or the school staff know if they hear of any planned or potentially disruptive behavior,” he said.
At Oxford, Weaver sought additional law enforcement and security on campus during the day. Four students were killed and seven others were injured in a mass shooting at the high school on Nov. 30.