On April 30, Sunrise Elementary Principal Michael B. Griffin was detained in an incident at a QFC in Redmond, resulting in his detainment. Police reports say that Griffin may have been under the influence of drugs, specifically cocaine, at the time.
According to the police report filed by the Redmond Police Department, an officer responded to an “unknown trouble” call and encountered Griffin in the parking lot of QFC. Griffin displayed signs of extreme paranoia and, after identifying himself, expressed his belief that his wife, Meghan Griffin, the principal of Moorlands Elementary, was at risk of human trafficking.
Megan Griffin said that her husband had been in this paranoia state for the past month and it had been worsening.
She stated that Griffin, in a paranoid state and under the influence of cocaine, took a licensed, loaded pistol to QFC, where she and their three children were to meet with him to get food. Griffin was detained and involuntarily taken to the hospital for mental health assistance.
In light of the incident, the Redmond Police Department has requested an Extreme Risk Protection Order for one year, citing concerns about the potential for future danger. An ERPO, also known as a “red flag” law, allows law enforcement or concerned individuals to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms from individuals who pose a risk to themselves or others.
Michael Griffin’s brother, Shawn Griffin, filed a witness statement saying he’s concerned for his and his family’s safety.
“During these episodes I am aware of, he has had firearms. To my knowledge he does not carry a firearm often and it appears he does so during his delusional episodes,” wrote Griffin’s brother in his witness statement. “During an incident about a month ago, his wife took his pistol out of the house to keep it away from him. During the incident yesterday he had an assault rifle and a shotgun in the vehicle he was driving in addition to the pistol he had on his person. I am fearful that his actions will escalate to the point that he harms a stranger thinking they are after his wife or following him. I am also afraid that his paranoia about his wife will escalate to the point of harming her.”
On May 31, Meghan Griffin joined her husband on administrative leave. Moorlands Elementary issued a letter to families, indicating that the district had become aware of statements made by Principal Meghan Griffin in the police report. Although the district did not disclose specific details, the police report indicated that Meghan Griffin had confessed to using cocaine in a written statement.
As of now, the administrators have sent two emails to the families of the schools, without explicitly elaborating on the situation. Concerned parents, like Emma Hendriks* (she/her) — the parent of a Sunrise Elementary student — have been upset at the lack of communication from the district. Hendriks said the lack of communication had also been a problem while Griffin was principal at Sunrise.
“I don’t think any parents knew any details before we got the email notification from the Northshore School District on May 9, when he was actually put on leave. We did not know anything,” said Hendriks.
Hendriks said she and many parents like her were very concerned about Michael Griffin’s behavior even before the incident as he was often absent from his office and generally not very involved in school activities.
“He was not very present at the school. He was never present at afternoon or after-school activities like music,” said Hendriks. “The music teacher does a lot of musicals for each grade level. And he was never present.”
In response to parents’ demands, the NSD held a public meeting regarding this incident on June 5. Neither Michael nor Megan Griffin have been fired, and the district is still investigating the incident and has said it will take appropriate action.