UPDATE (4:32 p.m.) — According to an Illinois State Police press release, as of 3 p.m. there have been 21 calls on threats against schools in 19 Illinois Counties.
Locally, this includes calls in Peoria and McLean County.
MT. VERNON, Ill. – Many schools around Illinois, including some in the Metro East, have been disrupted by threats Wednesday.
A spokesperson from Illinois State Police tells FOX 2 that at least 12 Illinois communities across the state have received threats directed toward their schools. To this point, all threats have been unfounded.
“Responders have not located any actual threats as a result of these calls. The Illinois State Police Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center currently has no information concerning credible threats related to school safety. Law enforcement, public safety, and private sector security officials are encouraged to remain vigilant and report all suspicious behavior to local police agencies,” said Illinois State Police in a statement to FOX 2.
Several reports of threats and swatting are also being investigated at Illinois schools around the St. Louis region. That also includes schools in Chicagoland and the Rockford area Wednesday morning, according to Nexstar affiliate WTVO.
Around 10 a.m., a heavy police presence and a SWAT team responded to Granite City High School. A statement from Granite City Community Unit School District #9 says that they were alerted to a possible threat and took immediate action to make sure students were safe.
Administrators, police, and parents learned about a series of false threats in Granite City, and no injuries were reported, according to a statement from the school district.
Nearby in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, police shared a Facebook update about a prank at a high school. A call was made about a possible armed person in Mt. Vernon High School, and police were called to secure the school as a precaution. They also noted that there are several fake calls to high schools about threats across the state.
The cause of the rise in threats or the source is not yet clear. Students around the St. Louis area have faced criminal charges for similar threats made in the past.