WASHINGTON, Ill. — Wednesday, information concerning a potential safety risk at Washington Community High School was brought to the administration.
The school determined that the alleged threat was not toward WCHS and that communication between a few students regarding the threat turned into something bigger.
The alleged incident happened in another district. However, the threat was unfounded, but leaders stressed that off-handed comments can still trigger alarms.
“If they hear about a threat or see a threat [or] find a note, anything like that, they need to go to the authority over them. Their teachers, the principal, somebody and not talk amongst themselves because then they’ll text mom and everybody gets in a panic and it might not be for any reason,” WCHS parent Sharon Kirchgessner said.
One parent says after shootings around the country people seem to be on edge.
It’s happening it seems like more and more you know everybody’s probably worried that they’re maybe [going to] be the next school or victim to be hit by something.Brad Stewart, WCHS Parent
WCHS staff said the local police department did an outstanding job responding to the school and wants to assure parents and students that they take potential threats very seriously.
“It is very serious…Kids that think they’re just joking around that might make comments like that, the consequences are very severe. We do not respond lightly to that because of the dangers we face,” WCHS Superintendent Dr. Kyle Freeman said.
Staff urges parents to talk to their children about the importance of using good judgment when discussing the topic of school safety or making comments that could be considered threats.
“…Have a good dialogue with your child, spend time talking about this. Let them understand how serious it is, how dangerous the perception can be and what the consequences can be for children who engage in that type of activity,” Dr. Freeman said.
WCHS wants students who are aware of an actual threat to approach administrators first.