A social media post prompted concerns at Belvidere North High School Wednesday, after a student allegedly wrote on a bathroom stall that they would “shoot up” the school.
The picture made rounds on social media on Tuesday. School administration and parents were made aware of the threat. It read:
I will shoot up BNHS on 2-28-18
The Boone County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday afternoon that they had placed a 16-year-old Belvidere North student under arrest for making the threat. He’s charged with felony disorderly conduct.
Belvidere School District 100 sent the following message out to parents in response to the threat:
Dear BNHS Parents,
We want to update you on the situation that happened at Belvidere North High School. Yesterday afternoon we notified parents that a message was found on a bathroom stall that threatened school violence at Belvidere North. A picture of this message circulated quickly through social and traditional media.
Fortunately, students alerted adults about the message, which led to an active investigation. We have concluded our investigation with the help of students who had valuable information. This type of event, although the perpetrator claimed it was a joke, has serious ramifications. Pranks related to campus safety are not tolerated.
These types of threats result in the most severe school consequences as well as legal and financial consequences for any perpetrator. Disruptions to the school environment like this cannot and will not be tolerated. These disruptions consume valuable community resources.
We are grateful for the students who brought this to the attention of parents and adults in the school so quickly. We also express our gratitude to the many parents who have called in to ensure we are aware of the situation, and to the school officials and local law enforcement who worked diligently to close the investigation.
Please take a moment and remind your children that making any threat on a public school, business or other establishment is never a joke. I urge you to talk to your children now and impress upon them the seriousness of threats in today’s society.
I also encourage you to talk with your child about the importance of reporting suspicious activities, threats or disturbing information to a trusted adult. Students need to be aware that law enforcement agencies are taking these threats very seriously and are pursuing prosecution even when such incidents are intended as pranks.
I appreciate your continued support of a safe learning environment for our students.
On Friday, a 15-year-old was arrested after making verbal threats to Belvidere North. A search of the teen’s house uncovered several guns. The suspect was in custody at the Winnebago County Juvenile Detention Center as of Friday evening.
Threats to schools across the country have been up since the school shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 students earlier this month. Last week two other threats were investigated at stateline schools, one on Thursday at Auburn High School and another on Friday at Stillman Valley High School.