Rumors of threats tied to the alleged sexual assaults involving Big Rapids High School students will result in a lockdown at the high school Friday, the district said.
Patrick Kettner and Douglas Robinson, both seniors at the school, are accused of raping a 15-year-old girl at a gathering at a home early Sunday morning.
“We’ve had some rumors swirling about possible threats, so we want to take them seriously. We have investigated with our local authorities and we felt they are not fact-based,” said Superintendent Tim Haist. “But we do want to ensure safety for our students, parents and staff.”
The district interviewed students Thursday afternoon but couldn’t find anything credible. Regardless, it is taking precautions to err on the side of caution, Haist said.
“We’ll have local law enforcement working with us tomorrow to make sure that the building is secured,” Haist said Thursday. “When people enter the building, feel safe know they are secure when they go through different check points.”
He said all students entering the school will be searched Friday. Police will set up metal detectors in the building.
“We’ll go through and their bags will be checked when they enter the building and they will have wands to make sure they are not carrying any weapons as well,” Haist said.
Kettner, 18, is being held in a military jail in Guam, where he flew early this week. His father is stationed in the military there. His mother told 24 Hour News 8 Thursday that her son denies any wrongdoing.
Robinson, 19, is also accused of a second, less-serious sexual assault involving another girl at the same gathering. He is being held in the Mecosta County Jail.
Friday was the last day for seniors at Big Rapids High.