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Local News

Police present at Minooka Junior High School to 'ease fears' on social media threats

Officials: New rumors ‘recirculated’

MINOOKA – A new threat against Minooka Junior High School was reportedly recirculated versions of a previous threat that was determined to not be credible, school district and police officials said.

On Thursday night, Minooka police were alerted to another online threat being shared on social media and worked with Minooka School District 201 officials to investigate the threat.

However, they reportedly determined it was only “recirculated versions of the original post” from Tuesday that was already investigated, Superintendent Kris Monn and Minooka Police Chief Justin Meyer said in a joint statement Friday.

“Minooka police determined again that there is no imminent threat at the school and there are no safety concerns for any students or staff,” officials said in the joint statement.

On Tuesday, Minooka Junior High School administrators were notified by students of an alleged threat on social media. School and police officials investigated the threat and determined there was “no credible threat and none of the students or staff of the school were in any danger.”

“Since then, misleading and inaccurate information about the threat has been shared on social media which in turn, has created a recirculation of the initial threat. The spread of these false rumors has elevated the anxiety and fear of the students and community,” according to the joint statement.

Monn said the threat came from one student at the junior high school that was found not be credible or
viable. He declined to comment on what happened to the student or if it was the same student who was taken away from the school by ambulance Tuesday because of confidentiality issues.

He said claims of that student receiving a three-day suspension were false.

Minooka School District 201
officials requested police officers to be at the junior high school Friday morning when students arrived and that they be increased throughout
the day if possible, Monn said in a message to families at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

“Please know that their presence does not mean that any threat to students or staff exists. Rather, the intent is to reassure and comfort both families and students,” Monn said.

Monn said there were four Minooka police officers present at the junior high school Friday morning and that police officers from Minooka and Channahon have been at the school throughout the day.

“Hopefully the students know that this is a safe and secure environment,” Monn said.

He said district officials received requests that having additional officers at the school might alleviate fears, but it’s possible their presence may have increased them.

Monn said there were a number of parents who came to the school to withdraw their students but said he couldn’t “get into causality” as to why they did.

District officials reportedly had conversations with Minooka police regarding “multiple rumors” throughout Thursday and that “no threat or rumor has been substantiated,” Monn said.

On Tuesday evening, a message to families from junior high school administrators said they were notified on Monday night a student contacted peers through social media “and made a threat of violence.”

“Although this threat contained vague statements and lacked specifics, as with any threatening comments and language, we took action immediately. In collaboration with the Minooka Police Department, we took all necessary actions to ascertain the viability of the alleged threat,” administrators said.

School officials said students and staff were not in danger and there was “never a weapon on our campus nor was there a need to place the building on lockdown.”

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