Wheaton-Warrenville South HS threat sparks concern among parents

WHEATON, Ill. (WLS) -- A threat posted on social media led some parents to keep their children home from Wheaton-Warrenville South High School on Monday.

Investigators said they've determined that the threat is not credible, but rumors on social media have parents and students concerned.

One student posted a Snapchat message Sunday in which a student supposedly overheard another student threatening to kill other students. It was enough to prompt many parents to call police and keep their kids home from school, including a mother who wants to withhold her name.

"Any information about the investigation that they came up with was not released to parents, but parents are supposed to be like, 'Oh sure, here, let me just throw my kid back in your school.' It doesn't make any sense," she told ABC7.

She said she has spoken to a number of other parents who feel the same way, but Wheaton police say there is no threat. It's more of a case of the facts being distorted through social media communication.

"Social media took off this last weekend with one student who talked to another, who talked to another and didn't have any of the facts correct," Wheaton Police Chief Jim Volpe said.

School District 200 officials said they started getting calls from concerned parents as well. That prompted the principal to send a note to parents trying to reassure them of student's safety.

"While we will have an increased police presence at South tomorrow morning, our school is safe for all students to attend. It's the latest of a number of reported threats to area schools that spread through social media.

Last month at York High School in Elmhurst, many parents kept students home after social media reports that a student was bringing a gun to school. Police say there was no gun and no real threat. Wheaton police say parents should rely on more credible sources for information.

"One of those would be our police department website," Volpe said.

School officials emphasize that student safety is their top priority and they reiterated that they believe there is no security issue at Wheaton Warrenville South High School.
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