May 24, 2016


Hinckley Elementary School gets a phone threat

HINCKLEY TWP. — Police are investigating a voicemail found Tuesday that threatened to burn down Hinckley Elementary School.

In an email to the Highland community, Superintendent Catherine Aukerman said someone left a message on the elementary school’s main voicemail system on Nov. 23 that stated, “You and Hinckley Elementary will burn to the ground.”

Catherine Aukerman

Communications director Dawn Marzano said Hinckley Principal Rob Henry discovered the voicemail Tuesday morning, the first day back to school after Thanksgiving break and a conference day Monday.

Police Sgt. Dan Huff said the voice appeared to be an “adult male, fairly deep voice and quietly spoken.”

“We don’t have anything but that message to go on,” Huff said, adding the time between when someone left the voicemail and when it was discovered did not help the investigation.

He said police and school officials searched the school Tuesday morning and found nothing out of place. Extra patrols were assigned to the school during the day and after hours, he said, and a police officer ate lunch with the students Tuesday.

“We’re doing our best to keep the kids and everybody safe there,” Huff said.

Marzano said students already were arriving when Henry discovered the message and there was no thought of cancelling school.

Aukerman’s email said the threat was determined to be “not credible.”

“Highland Schools will continue to work closely and cooperate with Hinckley Police and all safety services,” Aukerman wrote.

Huff said the investigation continues and anyone with information is asked to call police at (330) 278-7161.

Contact Jennifer Pignolet at (330) 721-4063 or