Message Regarding Recent Social Media Threats

Message Regarding Recent Social Media Threats
Posted on 02/26/2020
Special Message graphicDear Waukegan Community,

I am writing today to express my disappointment related to the string of threats made toward our schools on social media in recent days.

Incidents like these incite panic not only within the school environment, but with the community at large. The violent nature of these threats create an atmosphere of chaos and fear amongst students, staff and parents. Additionally, these incidents are an enormous distraction that take valuable time and resources from school and law enforcement officials.

We know these types of online threats are not new. As the internet and social media has evolved we, along with districts across the country, have seen an increase in threats of this nature. I would like to make it very clear, however, that our school district does not take these threats lightly. We will not tolerate this kind of behavior, and will continue to treat and investigate each incident with the utmost seriousness.

Any student found to be making these threats, or participating in the creation of these threats, will face the harshest consequences in accordance with District policy. Additionally, we will assist law enforcement in pursuing criminal charges against those involved.

We would like to remind students that if they become aware of a threat, they should immediately contact a parent, teacher, staff member, safety officer, SRO, principal or other trusted adult. We also encourage students to utilize our anonymous tip line by calling 224-303-1166 or by visiting your school’s or the district’s website. We all play a vital role in working to keep our schools safe.

While the incidents of the last few days did pose some unique situations for our school buildings, I want to thank our school staff and local law enforcement for their quick response to these threats. I would also like to thank parents for their patience and understanding during these events. We know that these threats carry many unknowns and are frightening, but we want to reiterate that each threat reported to us will be investigated immediately, and safety precautions will be taken as we determine the validity of each threat.

We also ask that parents assist us in curbing the frequency of these threats by regularly monitoring your child’s activity online, as well as ensuring they understand the seriousness and the consequences of making threats of this nature.

In closing, I want to assure our parents, staff and students that we as a school district are constantly enforcing and reevaluating our safety protocols, and the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority.

Sincerely,

Theresa Plascencia
Superintendent of Schools
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