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Posted on Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 5:38 p.m.

Student with knife at Skyline High School prompts police response

By Danielle Arndt

Ann Arbor police were called to Skyline High School Monday morning after receiving a report that a student pulled a knife on at least one other student, officials said.


Skyline High School

The Ann Arbor Police Department said an officer was dispatched to the school on North Maple Road at about 8 a.m., upon receiving a call from a Skyline staff member.

Liz Margolis, communications director for the Ann Arbor Public Schools, said the district is investigating the situation. Details were not immediately available.

The incident took place inside the building before school began, she said, adding the confrontation was limited to three students.

One of the students told Skyline staff about the threat with a switchblade immediately after it happened, Margolis said.

Ann Arbor police Sgt. Mauro Cervantes could not confirm whether anyone was taken into custody for questioning.

Unlike adults, juveniles in many cases are not arrested following an incident. They may be brought in for questioning. If a crime is thought to have been committed, a petition — instead of an arrest warrant — with the charges against the juvenile is signed by the county prosecutor's office. Juveniles generally do not remain in custody until their initial court hearing before a referee.

The gender, age and grade of the students involved in the confrontation were not released.

Investigators from the AAPD detective bureau were not available for comment Monday.

Cops and courts reporter John Counts contributed to this report.

Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at



Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 4:46 p.m.

Is there any additional information today about the status of the investigation and whether the school principal or district communications representative let parents know what happened? I have heard about the routine bathroom lockdowns at Skyline. Is it known who in the building called the police? The report says a staff member, but I am curious if it was a teacher, secretary, administrator or community assistant. Is it known if the call was made from a cell phone or from a school phone going up the chain of command at the school? What is the chain of command of Skyline? Does it work the same as at Huron, Pioneer or Community?


Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 1:50 a.m.

We have not received any communication from Skyline or AAPS. I sent email to Ms. Jackson this morning asking for clarification on the school's/district's policy on communication concerning an event such yesterday's incident with a knife. I have not received a reply. I am not holding my breath. Communication is obviously not a priority within the AAPS.

Al Waters

Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 4:31 p.m.

Here are MDE's recommendations on weapons in school:


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 1:26 p.m.

Any student with a knife in a school building should be immediately expelled. No excuses, no coddling. Either you have zero tolerance or you don't.


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 3:08 p.m.

What's the difference between forgetting to take a box cutter out of a jacket pocket and forgetting to take a whittling knife out of it? Excusing one memory lapse and not the other muddles the issue a bit. A switchblade knife, however, I think is an illegal weapons in all states, and few people use them for whittling.


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 1:40 p.m.

JRW - I will agree suspension until investigation and probable expulsion is appropriate in the case of a switchblade knife drawn as a weapon. However if one of my kids forgets to take the boxcutter out of his jacket pocket after cutting down cardboard for recycling on the evening before trash day and ends up wearing that jacket to school, but never takes the boxcutter out of his pocket, that is absolutely not grounds fro any discipline whatever. Students should not be penalized for having items such as boxcutters, screwdrivers and multi-tools unless they are used inappropriately. Zero tolerance policies so often turn into zero thought on the part of school administrators.


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 11:22 a.m.

Really? My daughter is a student at Skyline and this is the first that I've heard of this? I get school messenger calls for trivial issues and daily emailed announcements but neither the high school not the district has notified the parents about the situation. Not even their vague "we're aware of and addressing the situation" type messages. Yet, Liz Margolis was able to provide a comment for Woohoo, my tax dollars at work.

Haran Rashes

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 3:25 p.m.

I too am a Skyline parent disappointed that we did not receive a call or e-mail about this. Based on the alleged e-mail that went out about the hired security guards, that I and other AnnArbor.Com commenters never received, it would not surprise me to find out that Skyline thinks they sent out a message about this incident.


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 10:35 p.m.

Yup - me too. I hear about trivial crap at Skyline but not one word about this?


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 1:40 p.m.

My daughter is at Skyline as well. I'm troubled no message was sent out as well. We get 4-5 messages from Skyline a week as well. I don't know what's going on with AAPS.


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 12:58 p.m.

The change in leadership may not be an improvement if they shift an ineffective problem principal to there. We'll likely see a lot of students go elsewhere as the discipline gap continues. There's no excuse to not have notified parents about a weapon at school.

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 12:45 p.m.

This school system administration is all about controlling perception and the message. Hence your lack of notification.

Blazingly Busy

Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 12:24 p.m.

I get a call EVERY DAY saying that my daughter either missed or was tardy to fourth hour...and yet I don't get anything about this? (She doesn't miss fourth hour nor is she tardy, even her teacher says agrees.)


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 11:37 a.m.

So you're saying you're will get better at Skyline. North Carolina's loss is your gain.


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 2:24 a.m.

if only those security guards they hired last week were still there!


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 1:58 a.m.

Not much information to work with here. We can only hope that the school board isn't already drafting a letter to have any and all (presumed) charges dropped for the best interest of the student(s).


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 11:46 a.m.

squidlover - there is a huge difference between pulling a switchblade at school and the high school football brawl which was started by the coaching staff and involved many dozens of student athletes, but only 3 charged with crimes. Hopefully the adults in charge at Skyline and AAPS will not ignore their responsibilities and appropriately discipline the student(s) involved. Because of the failure of the school system's adult leadership in the high school football brawl, 3 students were put into the criminal justice system.

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 1:45 a.m.

How can they not release whether there was an actual knife involved? Was there, or wasn't there? Or has one not been found? That isn't a secret they are entitled to withold.


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 12:45 p.m.

"...after receiving a report that a student pulled a knife.." "...the threat with a switchblade..." The only thing the article is missing is a photo of the knife.

Barb's Mom

Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 11:23 p.m.

Isn't the student supposed to be expelled for bringing a weapon to school? I thought there was a zero tolerance policy on weapons at school.


Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 2:15 a.m.

I heard about the 3 day suspension from my daughter. She said that the student was suspended for popping a bag during lunch. According to her, the students were told that popping the bag caused distress and made some students feel unsafe. Given this readoning, the student with the knife should be expelled.


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 9:15 p.m.

Two words: "discipline gap"


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 4:44 p.m.

Phillycheese, "one would think". But considering who is in charge, thinking won't take place.


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 1:45 p.m.

Zero tolerance = zero thought. I am happy to hear that the staff at Skyline are not leaping to remove students from school before any sort of investigation. That said, students who threaten people with violence while at school (or on the way to and from school) generally should be removed from that school, or monitored extremely closely by a trained adult while they are at school. That rule should apply as much to the recent case where a high schooler punched a middle school student on a street corner as it does to threats involving knives or even guns.


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 12:36 p.m.

@Jay You threw me for a loop there for a second! At first I was thinking, "how in the world could you consider it an over reaction to suspend a kid for drawing a gun?" Then I realized you meant draw, as in with a pencil and paper, not draw, as in pull a gun from a holster. Now that I understand, I gave you an up vote.


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 11:36 a.m.

A student who popped one of the senior prank balloons was suspended for 3 days so one would think that a student who pulls a knife would get a much harsher suspension or expulsion.

Jay Thomas

Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 6:17 a.m.

Some places they will suspend a student for just drawing a gun. I'm not kidding.


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 1:39 a.m.

It depends on how long the blade is.


Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 11:18 p.m.

An officer would have already been in the building if the principal hadn't been completely unsupportive of retaining a police presence on site.


Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 10:25 p.m.

See? This is what happens when you prevent a flash mob!


Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 11:19 p.m.

Kinda makes those balloons in the stairwells seem even more trivial. Don't let the door hit you on the way out to North Carolina.