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Posted on Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 1:47 p.m.

Forsythe bomb threat proves unfounded; security efforts delay start of school briefly

By Danielle Arndt

Precautions taken to ensure the safety of students at Forsythe Middle School Tuesday were enacted without a hitch.

The extra steps were put in place after a bomb threat mentioning Feb. 14 was discovered on a bathroom wall.

Nothing was found when police bomb-sniffing dogs patrolled the building Monday night or when staff searched students’ backpacks as they entered the school Tuesday morning, said district spokeswoman Liz Margolis.

School administrators reported there was about a five-minute delay getting children to class due to the searches, Margolis said.

“The report now is that the day has been going well,” she said.

Randy Trent, Ann Arbor Public Schools executive director of physical properties, arrived early this morning with his staff to set up tables and to assist with searching students, Margolis said.

Forsythe office staff reported there were 108 absences today. However, staff also said there is no way to know whether that is normal or higher than normal due to how absences are tracked.

Margolis said Janet Schwamb, the principal a Forsythe, thought a few absences could be attributed to the bomb threat.

Schwamb told Margolis most of the extra absences appeared to be in the sixth grade since those students are new to the school and have never been through something like a bomb threat before.

“But generally, (Schwamb) said the students came to school and handled it quite well,” Margolis said.

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



Thu, Feb 16, 2012 : 2:05 a.m.

If these bomb threats are becoming common place, then we need to really look no further than a science project, mandatory no doubt, gone bad. So if we stop the science projects will this stop the bomb threats. Just a thought.

Dayne White Bull The Terrible.

Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 6:38 p.m.

Bomb threats at Forsythe come easier than finding a female Michigan student in uggs, leggings, and a north face. When I was in 8th grade there, we had probably 6 threats during the second semester and the only precaution we had was a "comforting" announcement on the P.A. saying we had a bomb threat and they searched the school and they found nothing. Needless to say, I've never felt safer in my life

Joy Bash

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 8:55 p.m.

I have worked at the High Scools and middle schools in Ann Arbor. The middle schools don't usually get bomb threats. The High schools get them quite often, usually when some kid wants the day off school. They never canceled school at the high school level for this. One time they did a fire drill to get the kids outside of the building while dogs searched for a bomb. They have asked the custodians in the buildings to walk around and look for something that seemed out of place. Custodians have never had any kind of training for this, but are expected to look for something. If police need training for this why are custodians being told to look? If you don't then you are being insubordinate. Only in Ann Arbor.


Thu, Feb 16, 2012 : 2:08 a.m.

Custodians are very familiar with their buildings. So if something is out of place? They will be the first to notice. But, O wait, if they privatize the custodians? Then things like this will go unnoticed. Hate to say it but Balias is going to keep their own and the children will suffer because the custodians are a private firm and could care less if the building blows up or not. This is them. Pay check please.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 8:04 p.m.

"Bomb threat proves unfounded..." Seriously, do you have any editors? The threat was not "unfounded" or "unfulfilled". There WAS a threat. Thankfully, like most bomb threats, it was simply that. A threat. It's almost like you people wish that there had been a bomb.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 8:02 p.m.

What does "bomb threat proves unfounded" mean? If you mean no bomb was found, then why not "No bomb was found." If a bomb was found, would it be, "bomb threat founded?" A bomb threat is just that, a bomb threat. Bombers do not make bomb threats. I can't recall a single one where a bomb was found, or detonated. If a bomb threat is received, responders have to be aware that a bomb might be planted in an adjacent parking lot or area where people might gather. I am not saying that measures should not be taken but suppose a person left a bomb threat on a regular basis. What do you do? Often jokers use bomb threats for amusement or to disrupt an activity, like a test scheduled in a class.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 9:46 p.m.

Actually, the IRA always calls theirs in to authorities to give time to evacuate.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 8:12 p.m.

D'oh! Same, not "smae".


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 8:09 p.m.

That's funny... I said nearly the smae things, and was typing my post as you posted your's. LOL! Anecdotally, to your reference of bomb threats to disrupt an activity, I once worked in a large office building where an insurance company started receiving bomb threats on a daily basis. This happened every day in mid-afternoon. Beautiful, bright, sunny days. It went on for four days until one of the police officers deduced that the bomb threats, that were being faxed in, were coming from another of the insurance companies fax machines in that same office! After that we had to work.

Usual Suspect

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 7:53 p.m.

"there is no way to know whether that is normal or higher than normal due to how absences are tracked" What?

La starry

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 7:24 p.m.

So ..... By the time you get to seventh grade are you pretty used to bomb threats ?

Usual Suspect

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 8:02 p.m.

At Forsythe, yes. There have been something like a dozen in the last two years, including the one that threatened to blow up the "shool."