Social Media Threat Causes Lockdown at DeKalb Schools

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On Friday, February 23rd at approximately 7:15 am, the DeKalb Police Department learned of a possible threat of violence involving our schools. The threat was posted on social media, it identified the middle and high schools, and referenced a rumor that someone was going to bring firearms to a school. DeKalb Police immediately coordinated with School District 428 staff to insure the safety of the students and staff, and to insure an effective response to a potential threat.

The purported threat identified certain schools, however throughout the process, police officers were stationed at every school in our community. Detectives initiated an immediate, on scene investigation in an effort to determine if the threat was credible and to determine the source of the threat. The school district implemented a soft lock down in all of its schools as the investigation continued, and a coordinated response between the police and school district officials was ongoing throughout.

The subsequent investigation identified a thirteen year old male student, who is enrolled within the school district, as the person that sent the message. He admitted that he saw a similar message posted in a different state and decided to send a message out via social media in DeKalb. He further admitted that the message was a hoax and there was never any credible threat of violence involving our schools. Authorities are continuing to follow-up on this matter to insure a thorough investigation, that there are no weapons linked to this juvenile offender, and that his behavior is appropriately addressed.

Throughout the incident the School District 428 administration and staff, in conjunction with the police, implemented the necessary measures to insure everyone’s safety and to insure continuity of operations. The Northern Illinois University Police Department, the Cortland Police Department, and DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department also assisted with this effort. The DeKalb Police Department is continuing to investigate and will review any potential criminal charges with the DeKalb County State’s Attorney’s Office.

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