Entertainment And News

Michigan Art Teacher Charged With Posting Hand-Written Bomb Threats Under Classroom Doors

Photo: Macomb County Court
Johnna Rhône

A 59-year-old art teacher at a St. Clair Shores, Michigan middle school is under arrest and being charged with writing notes that indicate a bombing will happen at the school.

Prosecutors say that suspect Johnna Rhône slipped hand-written notes under the doors of three separate classrooms but was caught doing so on surveillance cameras.

She is reportedly denying the charges against her. 

Johnna Rhône allegedly made hand-written bomb threats against the middle school.

Last week at Jefferson Middle school, school officials reported three alarming messages that were found in a classroom, the library and the school’s media center.

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When police arrived at the scene and reviewed the surveillance footage, they reportedly discovered that Rhône had slipped all three notes into the classrooms and arrested her immediately after.

Rhône denied the accusations and whispered her innocence through a video screen in a Macomb County courtroom Monday as an investigator read his testimony.

Rhône repeated “Not true” three times as one of the notes was being read in court, causing Judge Joseph Oster to ask her attorney, Andrew Leone, to instruct her to remain silent.

Macomb County Prosecutor Pete Lucido read one of these notes during a news conference.

"'Start break early. He's going to do it. Just don’t be in the hall after lunch. Boom. Get it?'" Lucido read from one of the notes. "I can expect something like this from a child, not an adult."

Oster, who placed her bond at $75,000, ordered that she be placed on house arrest pending a psychological evaluation.

"She’s denying these allegations. She’s flat-out denying them," said Leone, and that she “looks forward to defending herself.”

Ever since the Oxford High School shooting that happened in Michigan on November 30th, they’ve seen hundreds of students be arrested for making false threats.

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"We take a zero-tolerance, make no mistake about it," Lucido said. "A zero-tolerance in Macomb County, from students and teachers that are threatening others. We will not leave that at all."

He mentioned that this would be the first time they’ve ever had to charge an adult and the fact that she’s a teacher makes students and parents worried about their kids’ safeties.

Lucido said at a press conference after the hearing that he “wouldn’t want to be around the school nor would I want my own child or children to be around that school,” the Detroit Free Press reported.

However, Leone argues that there was no actual threat from Rhône.

"The superintendent came out and said he saw no plausible threat," Leone said to FOX2. "He saw words on a piece of paper, with nothing to back it up. That's what I gather from the article, so I don't think there is any threat to this particular community or the kids of this community."

Lakeview Public Schools Superintendent Karl Paulson placed Rhône on public leave but also mentioned that she had never previously faced any serious complaints from students, parents or co-workers.

“This alleged behavior is unacceptable and disappointing. Lakeview is committed to providing a quality education for the students and families of our community,” he said, according to the Free Press.

Rhône will have a probable cause conference on February 1st and will likely be tried by a jury of her peers.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.