Threats to Chicago area schools cancel classes, fuel anxiety

ROSELLE, Ill. (WLS) -- Schools across the country have been busy reacting to threats after the Florida shooting rampage, including in the Chicago area.

Most of the threats are made through social media.

The latest forced officials to cancel classes and send students home early in Roselle.

Classes were cancelled at Lake Park High School West Campus in Roselle after a threat was posted on social media.

The schools spokeswoman said the threat was not credible but: "Due to the significant disruption to the school day, it was in the best interest to cancel classes."

Roselle police said there is no credible threat against the school, but classes have been cancelled as a precaution.

There have been a series of school safety concerns this week in the area.

Friday morning Crete-Monee School District 201 had extra security after a social media threat.

Lyons Township High School in LaGrange cancelled a school assembly Friday.

Manteno High School investigated a suspicious note Thursday.

And on Wednesday Niles North High School was evacuated after someone called in a bomb threat.

"There's been social media threats that's been pervasive because anytime there is an incident like this people come out of the woodwork," said Paul Timm with Facility Engineering Associates.

Paul Timm is a security consultant with Facility Engineering Associates. He's seen hoaxes and rumors on social media after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

"We live in a day of see something, say something. So we can't ignore any of the threats. We have to investigate them. We should be glad to investigate them and find they are nothing," Timm said.

Timm said schools with a Threat Assessment Team can reduce disruptions for students and staff and having students as part of that team is most effective.

"Whatever we can do to appropriately involve students will help for two reasons. First of all students are ahead of us in technology and second of all they generally have a better pulse of what's going on inside the building," said Timm.

While none of the threats mentioned above were credible threats, they did cause disruptions and anxiety.

School administrators said social media is fueling rumors and adding to parents' concerns.

The suggestion is that schools share as much information as possible, even if they are still working on things, to maybe reduce some of those rumors.
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