Thursday, April 19, 2007

KVCC closed due to threat (Update)

From WoodTV:

Online misunderstanding closed KVCC

Updated: April 19, 2007 12:23 PM EDT


KALAMAZOO -- The campuses of Kalamazoo Valley Community College were closed by a misunderstanding in an online chat room.

The Kalamazoo County Sheriff Department said a former KVCC student was in an online chat room discussing the Virginia Tech shooting. Someone misunderstood him and took it as a threat to KVCC.

That information was turned over to the Michigan State Police, and school officials decided to close the campus through the weekend.

"We were contacted by state law enforcement authorities and made aware of a very specific threat to our campus," college vice president Michael R. Collins said in a statement. "As a result, we are canceling classes for today and through the weekend and are actively working with local law enforcement agencies to resolve the situation."

They closed the campuses in both downtown Kalamazoo and in Texas Township, affecting the school's 13,000 students.

Collins told 24 Hour News 8 the school didn't believe the threat was real, but they couldn't take any chances.

"It's a difficult situation. You do the best you can," he said. "You deal with the information you have in hand and the nature of what you're dealing with and you make the best decision you can. In this case we felt that because of the specific nature, the best course of action was to close the campus to ensure the safety of our staff and students."

The former student is in custody on charges unrelated to this chat room discussion. The sheriff department told 24 Hour News 8 there will be no charges for the KVCC incident.

How this affects the decision to close the campus through the weekend remains to be seen.

24 Hour News 8 will have more details as they become known.

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