Blogs > Frye on the News

Keeping his eye on the news and offering commentaries and insights on what is happening in Oakland County, around the world, on the tube and in the news.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


This year, West Bloomfield students have missed school twice due to vandalism of the district's buses, first at the end of January and then this week. Each time, it's lasted for just one day, but it's enough to cause families and school employees a bit of chaos with the last minute cancellations.
And in nearby Birmingham, last year and this year, school administrators have had to send home a letter alerting parents to a racially charged vandalism within a bathroom.
However, there is some good news.
Neither of these problems have spread.
In prior years in Oakland County, such pranks — really, they are crimes — have made big splashes in the local news and then have found receptive audiences in other school districts.

During the 2006-2007 school year, several districts were hit by vandals hoping to cancel class by disabling the buses.
In Jan. of 2007, Clarkston buses were hit, but not enough damage was done to stop the school day.
In December, West Bloomfield buses were targeted and school was canceled.
Two days later, it happened in Waterford Twp. In that case, the students blabbed a bit and were apprehended, and I remember in court, one of them explained to the judge where they got the idea. From the news.
In early January, they struck in Farmington, again later busted after boasting about their deed. At the time, the Farmington Director of Public Safety Chuck Nebus described them as copycats who followed the media accounts of prior vandalism. In fact, I can see how it seemed like a foolproof idea for a day off. Except it takes a fool to then tell others, others who are very gossipy, about what they'd done.
Nebus went as far to say that there was too much media coverage. I don't know what he meant by that, except perhaps there were too many outlets reporting the same story.
Well, bus tires are OK, though they cost money to repair.
However, other school related stories do get copycat responses.
One is the occurrence of threats at school.

For a few years in the middle of the last decade, threats of school violence occurred frequently in Oakland County and Metro Detroit, heightened in 2006 and 2007.
Many were arrested and charged, rightfully so true, and some left court with criminal records.
Here's a sampling of struggle for a safe school day.
- 2007 - bomb threat at Lake Orion, threat at pontiac central,
- Jan. 07, Rochester Hills student threatened to kill six classmates at ACE High School
- Nov. 06, troy high school, threats on walls
- Oct. 06, rochester adams, 17, student makes bomb threat
- March of 2006, Rochester Hills student at Roch High wrote out threatening graffiti-charged, probation
- Feb. 2006, troy high student withi small explosive FOR A MOVIE HE WAS TO SHOOT, SHOW OFF
- March of 2005, holly hit list, freshman, found out, probation
- Waterford hit list, Oct. 2004 senior wrote note, mott

I'm glad the copycats have so far stayed home. These are among Oakland County's top and largest school districts. It's a drain on law enforcement and the districts to up patrols, and it's a poor reflection on all the fine work done within the districts when a few bad apples cause such anxiety.


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