Oxford Copycat Threats Force Dozens of Schools to Close Across the Country

A series of schools will be closed on Friday across the United States as a result of copycat threats in the wake of the school shooting in Oxford Township in Michigan on Tuesday.

All public schools in Bay City, Michigan, will be closed on Friday as a result of copycat threats, the school district said on Facebook.

"Administrators were made aware of a threat of violence toward Bay City Central High School this evening [Thursday] at approximately 8PM. The threat originated via social media, and appears to be a viral 'challenge' for students to post," the statement said.

"The photo and threat has been seen in several other districts. While we don't believe the threat is credible, we are closing all schools out of an abundance of caution.

"In the wake of the recent tragedy in Oxford, threats are appearing in several districts. All threats to our students and staff will be taken seriously, and punished accordingly. Students, families, or other individuals who have information about any potentially harmful event should immediately contact local law enforcement and school officials directly.

The statement also encouraged parents of students to talk to their children about the Oxford Township tragedy and let them know that making such threats on social media is a crime.

A notice by Burke County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) in Georgia indicated that "a new threat via email" was sent to the high school principle on Thursday night.

The email read: "This is a warning that I am plan [sic] to shoot the whole entire school up tomorrow I already have my plan figured but see you and the dead students tomorrow."

The email was sent at 4.20 p.m. Thursday and read by the principle around five hours later, the statement said.

The BCSO is investigating the case, including the IP address of the sender of the email to determine its origin. The Sheriff urged personnel to "remain vigilant" and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.

The BCSO is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible for the threats.

A statement from the Batavia City School District in New York (BCSD) said all schools in the district would be closed on Friday as a result of threats, including after-school activities.

"BCSD will continue to update students, families, and staff as relevant information on the investigation becomes available. The safety of BCSD students and staff is our top priority, and the district is taking these allegations against our community very seriously," the statement said.

The district urged anyone with information on the threats to report it to the Batavia police department at (585)-345-6370 or the confidential tip line at (585) 354-6370.

Schools have been closing across the country since the Oxford High School shooting took place on Tuesday.

On Thursday, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard confirmed that at least 60 Michigan schools had been forced to temporarily close in response to threats of violence, just days after a 15-year-old boy at Oxford High School was charged with the fatal shootings of four students and injuries to eight others.

Bouchard said at least 100 instances of direct threats or threatening social media posts were reported throughout the state.

Oxford High School flowers
A makeshift memorial sits outside of Oxford High School on December 1, 2021 in Oxford, Michigan. Yesterday, four students were killed and seven injured when student Ethan Crumbley allegedly opened fire on fellow students at the school. A series of schools will be closed on Friday across the United States as a result of copycat threats in the wake of the school shooting in Oxford Township in Michigan on Tuesday. Scott Olson/Getty