Does this sound familiar?
Officials at Mundelein High School say there’s no threat to students or staff, but additional police officers have been requested to ease growing tensions at the school after a shotgun shell was found in a bathroom and a social media post incited fear.
Ron Girard, spokesman for District 120, said a threatening social media post on Thursday displaying a rifle and the letters “SHS” and “BHS” created issues at Stevenson and Barrington high schools. He said students at Mundelein became aware of the concerns and in turn started to worry due to the schools’ close proximity.
Also on Thursday, a student reported that a shotgun shell was found in a bathroom at Mundelein High School, Girard confirmed. The school is not done investigating where the shell came from, Girard said.
A photo of the shell was circulated by a Mundelein student.
The shell was not recovered by school officials, but the photo did originate at the school, Kroll said.
“What I can say is the Mundelein police department has determined that our school building is safe; there’s no threat,” Girard said. “We’ve requested additional police just to alleviate people’s fears.”
An announcement was made over the school’s intercom at about 12:15 p.m. Friday informing students and staff of the increased police presence and encouraging a sense of safety.
A letter was disseminated to parents Friday afternoon that said the social media post originated from out of state and does not pertain to Mundelein.
“These have truly become very trying times,” the letter reads. “The world we live in with social media and instant news has positives but some negatives as well. Sometimes misinformation is spread and creates problems when it is later determined to be false.”
Friday’s situation comes after a school assembly on Thursday in which Kroll denounced hate speech in response to a Tuesday social media posting by a student at the school in which she displayed earrings that spelled out the N-word.
Girard said a considerable number of students have been relaying uneasy feelings to teachers. He said a few students have referenced the Feb. 14 shooting at a Florida high school where 17 people were killed.
“I think it’s a combination of all these things,” Girard said.
Girard declined to specify how many extra officers are on campus, although he said they won’t all be in uniform.
“There’s increased anxiety across the country, Mundelein is certainly no different.” Kroll said. “With the events of this week, yeah it seems like a lot and so people do have some increased anxiety.”
The school has a regularly scheduled pep assembly for Friday afternoon that will be a celebration of student accomplishments, Kroll said.