Spray-Painted Messages At Hartland High School Discussed on Twitter, Facebook

"‎24 will die on the 24th. 24 days until the seniors graduate," is one of the potential threats being heard around Hartland this morning.

Rumors that the number 24 spray painted around the campus signify a death threat have forced administrators to . 

"‎24 will die on the 24th. 24 days until the seniors graduate. This is what I heard," Kelly Bowren Burton ‎wrote on the Hartland Patch Facebook page this morning regarding the potential threat to Hartland students.

"My son was one of many who received a death threat text," Becky Shires Cwiek wrote on the Hartland Patch Facebook page. "It said May 24th Your First. They all said the same thing according to the police officer who called him last night. I think they will catch this person. We have four weeks until he graduates and just don't need this."

Hartland Schools sent out an automated message to parents at 5 a.m. this morning which said:

ATTENTION: School is CANCELLED for Tuesday, April 24, 2012 for Hartland High School ONLY. This includes any Community Education Activities that take place at the High School and the Pool.

In what may be an unrelated incident, Hartland schools posted a reward on their Facebook page regarding school vandalism on Friday which said:

"Hartland Schools is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the apprehension of the individuals responsible for the repeated vandalism that has taken place at Hartland High School. Contact Principal Hughes or Asst. Principal Lashbrook."

On Friday morning, pictures were taken by Hartland Patch of some of the spray painted messages and also the number 24 burned into the grass outside the front entrance of the school.

Principal Chuck Hughes, talking to Hartland Patch for a different interview, was guessing that the vandalism was a senior prank. May 24 is the last day for seniors.

Twitter feeds from Hartland students about the potential school shooting starting popping up Monday night as talk about the potential threats were discussed.

"Apparently there's gunna be a shooting as hartland high," tweeted Hartland High School senior Kaileigh Orr. "There was the number 24 spray painted on the school and there's rumors."

Kaitlan Welton tweeted, "Nobody at Hartland High better go to school tomorrow."

Parents of the surrounding schools are also concerned for the safety of their younger students as well.

"What about the surrounding schools?" questioned Hartland parent Robbie S. McDonnell on the Hartland Patch Facebook page this morning. "I don't want my young child on lock-down if there might be a crazy gunman or something. How credible is this threat?"

"I am just thankful they are taking this serious," Therese Cranick wrote on the Hartland Patch Facebook page. "My daughter goes there & it was all over FB & Twitter last night. All I heard was guns & a shooting on the 24th to represent the 24 spray-painted on the schools entrance. SCARY!!!"

Hartland High School was the only school closed the morning. There's been no mention of the other school in the district.

and are in the same complex as the high school.

According to other media outlets, superintendent Janet Sifferman will be meeting with the Livingston County's Sheriff's office later today to discuss the threats. Hartland Patch has a call into both sources for more information.

J Walker April 24, 2012 at 02:02 PM
If this happened on Friday, why weren't parents notified until Tuesday morning at 5am? And what is the validity of the rumor that the school plans on punishing the senior class by keeping them in school until June 7th. Rumor has it that it was an underclassman, so why punish the seniors, and why the lack of notification? parents weren't notified of the stabbing last year either.
Tatum Ryan (Editor) April 24, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Hello- the pictures were taken on Friday but were thought to be a senior prank. The threats and reported vandalism from other sources, which resulted in the school closing, came across social medias sites and weren't reported until Monday night. Other details of the case are still being investigated. Patch will also follow up on the rumors of keeping students in school until June 7.
april toro April 24, 2012 at 02:23 PM
well who ever it was isnt too smart, the police can track texting, so it will just be a matter of time before we find out who's behind this... My kids go to Howell and it was all over FB.. He didnt want to go to school today but i told him nothing was going to happen.. I am just so sick of all this violence why cant we all just get along!!
Melissa Summerfield April 24, 2012 at 02:53 PM
so the number that was texting these students obviously showed up on a phone? did anyone think about turning that number into the police station? that may help a little for figuring out who this may be.
Dave Bryant April 24, 2012 at 02:56 PM
This kind of thing cannot go unpunished. Unfortunately it is a very sad statement about what is considered acceptable humor among kids these days. In the wake of all the school violence we have seen these idiots need to learn what it means to cross that line.
tom mcvey jr April 24, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Kids these days!!! Senior pranks when I was there was greasing a pig....or save papers all year and at the end dump them on the floor. I think we shrink wrapped Mr. Hughes' car one year. But this is ridiculous. Who ever is responsible for this....they're life is done!!! This kid is gonna end up in prison for charges of what might be considered terrorism!! All over what probably was a joke that got blown way out of hand!!!! You went to school for 13 years to piss is all away with a couple weeks to go!! Ignorant!!!
Just Watching April 24, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Per the news media this person (18 year old student) is already ID'd as of 8:00 a.m. and is being questioned by the Liv. County S.D. He stated it was a joke. I bet his parents don't get a laugh out of an expulsion and no diploma.
Annie April 24, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Wondering if the student that is in custody for the Facebook and Twitter threats is tied to the graffiti too? Seems like it could be two separate issues.
Just Watching April 24, 2012 at 03:45 PM
The news article stated they are the same I believe
tom mcvey jr April 24, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Don't drop the soap Kid!!!
TickedOff April 24, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Really - a joke? Like Ha ha? Who believes THAT?! Burning into the grass, spray painting the same, then later letting others know of the pent up anger on Facebook, Twitter & via text. He should be punished hard, & grilled to see who else was involved. He's an "adult" at 18. Stop protecting the offender! This is insanity. It's not a matter of a silly kid playing a prank. Get the kid therapy behind bars. Anything else encourages such behavior. Get a clue, Law Enforcement.
Just Watching April 24, 2012 at 06:00 PM
TickedOff, Not Sure who your comment it to?? The Liv. County SD did not thinkg it was a joke the student did. Law enforcement doesn't need to get a clue they had this knucklehead ID'd by 8 this morning and charges are now pending. Maybe you read the comment out of context????
TickedOff April 24, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Impressive they got him early, for sure; not impressive they let him go to his parents already. Released to his parents...who didn't know what he was up to. Just Watching, do you have kids in the school? Think his parents will be certain he's not lurking about within a week? He's not a "knucklehead." How cute. He's a threat.
Susan B. April 24, 2012 at 07:48 PM
I have a senior in Hartland...Here is the correct time line of how this started & progressed. Sometime Thursday night is when the vandalism took place & the rumor mill was saying it was a prank in reference to the seniors last day, May 24th, there was NEVER a threat included until last night. Last night, this "suspect" put a notation on his facebook page to a buddy that appears to have been intended as a joke between them. Next came the phone text messages & they were being sent from a blocked number, therefore nothing to report to the police, although the sheriff has access to be able to trace those texts. At this point, it is not verified that the texts came from the individual that they have as a suspect. Between the texts & the facebook comment, it went viral through the student body within about 20 minutes. This all happened last night between 9:30 and 11:00. We knew school was closed by midnight. This is an excellent example of how social media has effected our lives, both good & bad. A lot of parents & the faculty knew about this last night...that's the good, the notification and immediate solution was fast. The Bad...an intended "joke" between two friends went viral and grew bigger with each telling. &This was a scary thing for all of us last night. The administration was quick and did the right thing to protect our kids. &Let's not take a "lynch mob" mentality against everyone, the school will prosecute & the student body will hopefully learn a valuable lesson
Parent123 April 24, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Tom McVey Jr - that is highly inappropriate.
Parent123 April 24, 2012 at 08:42 PM
and while there are many insightful comments above, I have to wonder at tickedoff - wondering if the parents knew what their child was up to. I'm not sure about you, but if you indeed a parent, do you know each and every thing your child is up to? Kids can be taught right from wrong, and still make the wrong choice. Of course they should be punished - however, it's simply ridiculous to imply that those parents should have known what their child is up to in this regard. You can't babysit a high school senior... just saying.
TickedOff April 24, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Hmmm, Parent123. First, Tom McVey was just joking, I'm sure. Isn't it funny? A parent won't know all actions of their kid of course, but sneaking out at night to burn "24" in the grass; spray paint, etc. is pretty pre-meditated, not to mention the direct threats. When you take a laissez faire approach with something so extreme, limited repercussions sends a pretty clear message to the next "prankster". This should be a strong example to prevent future "jokes" that are as wildly funny as this one. What if your child was one of the "24"? ROFL?
Parent123 April 24, 2012 at 09:21 PM
TIckedoff - no, the soap comment was vulgar, sorry. and I never said to not punish, - I said "of course they should be punished". I just said that parents don't always know what their kids are doing 24/7. If you are that exception that knows your child's every move, word and action, then you are the exception indeed. Let's all just be thankful that this appears to be over and people can learn from it.
TickedOff April 24, 2012 at 09:32 PM
You missed the sarcasm on the soap being funny thing, but that's okay. Goes without having to say you don't know every move your kid makes; but...at least we can agree that the sooner this is over the better, and hope it doesn't happen again.
worried April 25, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Why on earth was he released to his parents? Hes 18, and do they really think his parents can control him at this point. Are they going to have the schools locked and security at every school in the Hartland district? As far as being a prank, I hope it was just a prank, even though its a very sick one, but what if it is real, we dont know, because if it is real hes still going to tell the cops that its a prank so he can try to get out of trouble. I think we should have all students walk through metal detectors for all the schools and have security, and a lot of people will disagree saying our children shouldnt feel like they are in prison, but I would rather have the security of knowing that people arent bringing weapons into the school and that they are being looked after. This is a very scarey threat and we live in very scarey times.
Hartland Girl April 25, 2012 at 05:07 PM
I personally know the person being accused. He is a good kid, is very sheltered (His mother works for the juvenile court and his father is a police officer). He is notorious for using apps online to send all of our friends "goofy" messages and this had caught on to other kids at school as well. The whole spray painting and vandalism thing was a completely seperate issue... We all showed up to school one day and were surprised to see it. Some of us didn't even notice it until it was on the PA and a reward was being offered. OF COURSE this became gossip and talk of the school "haha what a silly senior prank!" We all thought. The friend who got caught had sent out a chain text to a bunch of our friends and acquiantances trying to freak us all out (this is a common theme among us) all of us prank each other to some extent. We all received this text and most of us knew exactly who it was from and thought to ourselves "Wow... Was a retard, he so would send this." In school we had all been joking about the stupid "24" prank, having no clue who did it, so we thought it was funny and were saying "Ooo it was a ghost! We have a criminal miscreant here in Hartland who asks Chuck Hughes to prom."
Mary April 25, 2012 at 05:08 PM
I've been part and have witness a senior prank. A "prank" is supose to be funny, non threating. This was very threating. His parents must be going through #ell. What was he thinking. (he wasn't) This student srewed up, big time. He will pay dearly for it I'm sure. But stop and think how his parents feel right now. Like someone just punched them in the stomach. Dig real deep and find so compassion for his family. The SD will find out what happened and he could face jail time and/or fines. Bad things happen to good people too.
Hartland Girl April 25, 2012 at 05:08 PM
When the computer app text message was taken all too seriously and was misinterpreted and blown out of hand, of course gossip occured. Social networking can sometimes be a game of telephone... We've all played that game before. Its scary when you look at the level that this has reached. I know the guy personally and he probably feels really stupid and horrible about what happened and all of the worried people. This goofy, friendly guy who would do anything for friends, whose best friend is his little brother, and whose main priority is his puppy and mom..... Yeah, he's definitely a killer? Its horrible having to come to school and listen to peoples rumors about one of my best friends. This whole thing was a horrible horrible misunderstanding and it really makes me hate computers/texts/etc. I hope this brings some insight. Thank you..
sam April 25, 2012 at 07:00 PM
just reading the story its self realizing i just graduated in 2011 my first reaction was wow! another school shooting just what we need...not. and then i instantly thought right after that was...wait...this has to be one stupid but yet sick joke.
sam April 25, 2012 at 07:02 PM
and not only that but i think their intentions were to get the school closed just saying


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something