The email header at 4:21 PM Thursday read,
Massacre Threat at Central HS – slated for tomorrow.
I don’t know a lot of teens who go to Crystal Lake Central High School, but when this local mother wrote me she had heard that a threat of violence had been made today, I decided to follow up.
The email also said, “I understand that if the student does not attend, the day will be excused.”
She also wrote that people calling the school were read a prepared statement.
I called the high school at 4:30 or maybe a minute afterward, but no one answered the phone.
A second mother, who has a child in my alma mater, told me:
My daughter just got home from track and in a boys’ bathroom there were sayings on the wall saying (something like)”If you think the Virginia Tech incident was bad, just think of the 4-20 thing, it will twice as bad (or maybe) much worse.”
I asked, “What are you going to do?”
“I don’t know,” she replied.
A second mother of a child who attends the school had heard nothing. She asked if I’d like to talk to her son and handed him the phone.
I asked him what he had heard.
He turned the question around.
“What did you hear?”
I used the word “Massacre.”
“It was probably taken out of context,” he told me
“Somebody wrote some s–ty thing on the wall saying something about combining Columbine and Virginia Tech.”
“Then you didn’t take it seriously?” I asked.
“No, I didn’t.”
A third mother emailed me soon after I posted this article at 8:34 PM Thursday night:
Daughter just came home to say she was scared to go to school tomorrow. So she’ll be home till we know more.
It may not be being taken seriously by some students, but the Crystal Lake Police Department is taking the threat seriously.
Here is what Police Chief Dave Lindner said in a press release today:
The CLCHS has alerted the Police Department of the disturbing message found inside the school building. The unidentified author referred to both recent and past acts of school violence in the message. The police department has met with the school administration and the school district has determined that classes will be held tomorrow.
The pd takes threats of any kind seriously and as a result of the particular incident the police department will have an increased presence at all of the schools.
Any further inquires should be directed to the district 155 school office.
The press release was issued about 7 this evening.
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This photograph of Crystal Lake Central High School teens was taken on that first 70 degree day–March 13, 2007. Click to enlarge the picture.