Brethren High School Student Charged with Making a Threat of Terrorism

A 17-year-old student at Brethren High School was arrested and is facing a charge of making a threat of terrorism.

Cullen Shafer was just arraigned at the Manistee County courthouse.

He was charged with a felony threat of terrorism.

Shafer’s bond was set at $100,000.

The sheriff’s office says they received a threat complaint Monday about a student threatening to shoot up Brethren High School.

An AR-15 was confiscated from Shafer’s home, but the undersheriff says it was given up by the parents for safe keeping.

“It’s very serious when you’re involving children at schools, that’s not right. We shouldn’t be living in a society where that’s happening. Something needs to be done, I’m not quite sure what it is yet, but something has to break the camel’s back,” said Manistee County Undersheriff Ken Falk.

If Shafer is found guilty, he could face 20 years in prison.

Following what happened in Florida exactly one week ago, many parents say it’s scary to have a situation like this happen in their community.

Everyone involved in what happened said this is a perfect example of “see something, say something,” and they are proud of students for coming forward the way they did.

“This is Brethren. It’s a small town, most people don’t know where Brethren’s at, so yeah, it’s pretty scary to hear about it,” said parent Joshua Snow.

We are told that Cullen Shafer made the threats to other students, who then told a school staff member.

The principal then contacted the sheriff’s office.

“I’m just so proud of our kids that they came forward and did the right thing, and I’m so proud of our staff that they got those lines of communication and those relationships with our students that they feel comfortable doing that. So that’s the key to any of these kind of situations is communication,” said Marlen Cordes, superintendent at Kaleva Norman Dickson Schools.

The superintendent says he sent out a message Tuesday morning to the entire district after they learned the seriousness of the threats.

“Some kids need to learn a little better that bullying and the threats that you’re making are hurting other people and are making a big impact on other people,” said Joshua.

Another parent, Joe Tighe said, “My thoughts are, well, it’s going to happen sooner or later. I think the school did a really good job in handling it and the kids there, they did what they were supposed to do. I’m not worried about sending my kid to school tomorrow.”

Shafer will be back in court next week, so stay with us for the latest.

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