Aurora area police and school officials are calling on parents to monitor their children’s social media accounts after students at West Aurora High School were taken into custody for about three hours on Friday (December 17 2021).
Police and school officials from West Aurora School District 129, East Aurora School District 131 and Indian Prairie School District 204 held a joint press conference on Friday afternoon to address disruption caused by an incendiary and inaccurate threat social media and the recent increase in similar school safety. nationwide threats.
“Due to the fact that we have seen an increase in threats to the safety of schools nationwide, as well as throughout the city of Aurora, we need parents to support us in monitoring social media accounts. of their children, ”Aurora police officials said in a press release on Saturday. .
Here are some of the statements from local leaders:
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jennifer Norrell, Aurora East School District 131
“We know our young people nationwide are screaming because they have certainly been victims of the gaps in their study periods… and we are seeing the ramifications of it all happening across the country.”
“Locally, we are doing a multitude of things in each of our school districts here in the city of Aurora to support our youth and their social and emotional well-being, to try to limit anxiety. Most importantly, we want our young people to know that this is no way to get attention. “
Superintendent of Schools Dr Jeff Craig, West Aurora School District 129
“Shortly after 9 am today, we were informed that photos had been dropped on students who posed a specific threat to West Aurora High School. The post was a picture of a gun taken in a bathroom.
“For almost 3 hours, our 3,700 students lost academic experiences, meal times were delayed and this created undue stress for our entire school community. Our partners in this investigation are the Aurora Police Department and they will continue to monitor this investigation to identify those responsible for the disruption today. “
“We are fast approaching winter holidays in many neighboring districts. Our intention is to do this successfully and safely. We truly hope that our students and our community will hear our message so that we can move forward with the mission entrusted to us – to provide a high quality education to all of our students in all of our schools and in all of our districts. “
Superintendent of Schools Dr Adrian Talley, Indian Prairie School District 204
“Tonight I want to tell all parents it is very important that you monitor your child’s social media through their cell phone.”
“You have to go see your child and see what’s on their phone. As a parent, you have this right and this responsibility.
Police Chief Keith Cross, Aurora Police Department
“Someone purposely took the photo online, added text, and then sent it around the school, causing panic among students, staff and families. This good behavior must end. Over the past few weeks, our department has been inundated with academic threats. “
“We will investigate each one. They mobilize precious resources, disrupt learning and cause fear. It should be noted that this is not only our ministry, other jurisdictions in the region are seeing this type of case. “
“We are united. Those of you who choose to participate in this type of activity, we will hold you accountable for your actions.
Deputy Chief of Police Scott Buziecki, Northern Aurora Police Department
“To be on the safe side, we had to put the students, staff and parents at ease. We have increased the police presence around our schools, especially during arrivals and layoffs. “
“Our officers and investigators take threats of violence seriously and will work with law enforcement and school partners to thoroughly investigate and prosecute such threats, as appropriate.”
State Attorney Jamie L. Mosser, Kane County State Attorney’s Office
“We have a strong partnership with our schools and law enforcement and an adequate response to pursue these cases.”
“These aren’t jokes. It’s not something that we can pass off as childish play or something that is done accidentally.
“When people choose to do this, it is a felony in Illinois of disorderly conduct. Whether it is an adult or a minor, we will prosecute these cases. “
“The trauma a child experiences when told to go into hiding because of a potential threat is something that cannot be undone.”
“We will do everything we can to continue to support our schools, support the police and make sure everyone understands that this will be taken seriously and will have serious consequences.”
SOURCE: Aurora Police Department press release