Cranbrook students suspended for hostile message
Several Cranbrook students were suspended indefinitely from the campus on Wednesday, May 17, following an iPhone “air drop” message described by the school as “disturbingly derogatory and threatening,” and Bloomfield Hills Public Safety has been called to begin a police investigation.
According to an email sent from Cranbrook Director of Schools Jeff Suzik, PhD, during a ninth grade class meeting on Wednesday, May 17, a student used an iPhone to “airdrop”a social media message to anyone within range whose phone was set to accept such communications. According to Suzik, the school is currently unaware of how many students may have received or opened the message, which he said, “contained words and sentiments that were disturbingly derogatory and threatening, and which are entirely inconsistent with our community norms and expectations.”
Suzik said Cranbrook commends the concerned students who did receive the message and immediately came forward to share the message with Upper School administrators. Following established protocols, administrators responded immediately, contacting the director of security, and then Bloomfield Hills Public Safety, “who promptly arrived on campus and commenced a police investigation into the matter.”
“All appropriate measures have been taken and a small group of Upper School students involved in the group chat from which the disturbing message originated have been suspended indefinitely from campus, pending further review by the Schools and BHPS,” Suzik stated.
Bloomfield Hills police have determined that the Cranbrook community currently faces no threat of physical danger as a result of the message and that there is no credible intention by any student to act on the disturbing words. However, the school emphasized, the words and sentiments expressed are “wholly contradictory to our mission, vision, and values as a school and community and will be addressed promptly and appropriately by the Schools.”
Both Cranbrook security and Bloomfield Hills police are continuing their investigations. Calls to the school to determine if the students would be able to return to finish the year, or if they would be expelled, were not returned.
“In the wake of this disappointing situation, we will be redoubling our efforts, schools-wide, to continue educating our students about the power of their words and the impact that they can have, both on others and on themselves,” Suzik said.