Fordson responds to phoned threat with lockdown

Photo by Sherri Kolade

Parents and family members of Fordson High School students listen to updates and communicate with their children electronically during the school’s lockdown on March 1.

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — Fordson High School went into lockdown mode from 9:30 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. Thursday, after an unknown caller contacted the school with a gun threat, school officials said.

“The threat was not credible at this point,” Dearborn Schools Communications Coordinator David Mustonen said. “It is part of our standard procedures just to ensure sutdent safety.”

Mustonen, who is unsure of the caller’s identity, said the lockdown was just a preventative measure. “We have to take these things seriously,” he said.

Dearborn resident and mother Mahala Elfassih said her daughter texted her about the lockdown at 10:30 a.m.

Elfassih said she went to the school after calling the office to check on her two daughters, ages 16 and 18.

“I want to see what hapened,” she said outside of her vehicle.

During the lockdown the school lights were out and students were under their desks.

One student was reportedly detained by police during the lockdown for not following orders, said a parent who videotaped the event but asked not to be identified.

Mustonen said Thursday the student who disobeyed the rules of the lockdown was apprehended by the police and should be released.

After the lockdown ended only a select number of students were allowed to leave. Some were dual-enrolled students who were attending other schools. The school normally lets out at 2:15 p.m.

“Some may have just been sent home for the day,” Mustonen said. “It was a case by case basis.”

One parent who did not want to be identified said she thinks it would have been better if the school dismissed all of the students. Her daughte, who was not dually enrolled, was not one of the select students who could leave.

“I told my daughter to come out. I am still taking her home,” the parent said. “The (school) said something about a safety issue but it is not going to be any safer now than it will be at 2 p.m.”

Dual-enrolled student Hussein Baydoun left the school with a few of his schoolmates and said he did not get under his desk because he did not believe the threat was real.

“The teachers just said, ‘Calm down,’” Baydoun said. “They said it was safe, I thought it was another prank.”

Police Chief Ronald Haddad was not able to comment by press time.

(Sherri Kolade can be reached at