.

UPDATE: Police on Patrol in District 308 Schools After Thursday Announcement, Rumor Traced to Oswego High School

District spokeswoman says officials and police have tracked rumors and found none for Oswego East or any of the junior highs to be credible.

Update 3:30 p.m. Friday

Oswego 308 released the following announcement minutes before 3:30 p.m. on their website:

As investigations by School District 308 and Oswego Police Department continue, it has been confirmed that an alleged threat to the safety of students and staff members was made at Oswego High School.  Earlier this week, Oswego High School students and parents brought to the attention of the high school administration a student-initiated threat of a possible shooting at OHS on December 21.  The alleged threat was shared with classmates, staff members, parents, and guardians. 

This one, isolated incident at OHS was specific to the December 21 winter solstice, which marks the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar.  The school district, partnering with Oswego Police, immediately started investigations into the Oswego High School student-initiated threat.

Soon afterward, rumors circulated through Oswego High School, and then carried over to Oswego East High School and several junior high schools.

School District 308 can now confirm all rumors regarding any threat to students or staff members at Oswego East High School, or any junior high schools, have been identified as purely extensions from the original alleged threat at OHS.  No information has been found to support a threat to students or staff members at any school other than Oswego High School. 

Through social media, blogs and other communication, what was an isolated, but very serious and disconcerting threat, quickly became a rumor of school violence in other schools.  The focus of the investigation and increased police presence will continue at Oswego High School, not other district schools.

School District 308 will remain diligent in identifying the individual(s) responsible.  Students with specific information to the identity of this person(s) are encouraged to contact their building administration, a teacher or parent/guardian, or the Oswego Police Department.

We ask our students and parents to work with the school district to help alleviate remaining anxiety over rumors as we work to provide students and staff members with a safe, comfortable environment in which to learn and work.  School District 308 appreciates that we have a climate in which students and parents are comfortable sharing information with the school district.   

Thank you for your continued support, understanding and collaboration as we address this issue.

Update 12:20 p.m. Friday

District 308 spokeswoman Kristine Liptrot said that in the wake of the Connecticut school shootings this morning that all schools remain on a heightened state of alert and police continue on patrol at both high schools. 

A stepped-up police presence will remain at OHS through Friday, Dec. 21. 

The district plans to update parents this afternoon at about 2 or 3 p.m., Liptrot said. 

Update 10:35 a.m Friday

As of 10:35 a.m. Friday morning District officials have said there is no credibility to any of the rumors regarding Oswego East High School or any of the junior highs.

"Any rumors about any threats at Oswego East and the juniors high schools are just that: rumors," said Director of Communications Kristine Liptrot. "Between the police and administration we were able to track the source of the rumor to Oswego High School."

----------

As of 10 a.m. Friday, Oswego District 308 officials stated there is no credibility to any of the rumors circulating about impending violence on either Dec. 14 or prior to Dec. 21, in which the Mayan calendar cycle ends.

Oswego 308 released an announcement Thursday addressing rumors of potential violence that may conincide with the Mayan calendar that claims the winter solstice, Dec. 21, is the end of one of the cycles. 

“We are following through on all information, but at this time we have found nothing credible,” said Director of Communications Kristine Liptrot. “We are working very closely with the local police department to make sure everyone feels safe in their learning environment."

The district said in its Thursday announcement security will be heightened over the next several days. Liptrot added that staff is on heightened awareness and undercover and uniformed police officers are throughout the buildings.

Any rumor that has been reported is being investigated and anyone with specific information is asked to talk to their principal, the district has said. 

READ MORE: What Parents Are Saying About the Rumors of Threatened Violence in District 308 Schools 

-------------------

Stay updated on news like this with our newsletter. Sign up for:

Visit Oswego or Montgomery's Facebook pages for more information and conversation.

Plainfield December 14, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Ms. Thompson, so your solution is a total lock down? The schools during the day have only 1 door open and it leads directly to the office for check in. Parents are then 'logged' in. I think it's crazy to ask that schools be on lock down, and require someone to be 'buzzed' into the building, this is still a safe community.
Sally Jamieson December 14, 2012 at 09:43 PM
I just got a call from the school district that there is an update on the website. The only problem is, I can't get into the website because everyone in town is trying to get on the website now. Why didn't they just give the message in the phone call???? This is very frustrating. Plank cancelled their dance tonight.
Susan Fowler December 14, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Who is "Community Resdent"? No name, accusations, demands? Lots of words - try some action. My husband is a bus driver for District 308 and we get the updates by phone and email. So, no, there is no coverup by the school district, just plain concern for the children and staff.
Sally Jamieson December 14, 2012 at 10:00 PM
My daughter was told by a teacher that the Plank dance is cancelled, but I cannot find anything on Plank's website stating that, so maybe it is still on.
Jane Enviere December 14, 2012 at 10:07 PM
@Plainfield - sorry that you think it's "crazy" but yes, I would much prefer a better solution than what some schools have in place now. Most places believe their communities are "safe" until there is a tragedy. I don't know what your school does, but we are not "logged" into anything unless we sign in and even that is not monitored closely. There are gaps in the system and clearly, there is not a standardized security policy in place for the district. There are plenty of schools in the Chicago area that are in "safe" communities and they have enhanced their security to include photo ID requirements and some have buzzer/intercom/camera systems. There are so many options available now. That said, as I mentioned previously, I do applaud some of the efforts to improve security. I was mortified to see my kindergarten student's name and classroom assignment plastered on the front door of the school during our initial experience with 308 a few years back. I was delighted when they changed that practice. And I think their communication during recent days has been quite good.
Jim December 14, 2012 at 11:09 PM
All these ideas are great for your typical safety measures. But someone determined to cause death isn't going to find a secretary asking for an ID much of an obstacle. From what I have read, the same apporach is used on Sandy Creek. The principal did what she could, but what do we realistically expect is going to happen when a man dressed in fatigues with 3 guns and hundred of rounds of ammo walks into a school office? The only answer to that type of threat is a corresponding show of force. Should we start arming the secretaries? A full time armed guard at the front door?
fawn December 14, 2012 at 11:58 PM
My staff routinely visits all District 308 schools. We are always asked to show identification.
J. Ann December 15, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Jim---I agree, realistically...corresponding show of force. Be prepared and able. Why not arm the teachers and principal (and bus drivers, of which I am one) and get them trained to be alert and able to respond. It IS the only way to deal with violence. Or else keep the kids home and school them. Living in fear and wringing the hands is not the answer people!
Kelly Thompson December 15, 2012 at 12:51 AM
@Plainfield: I never said in my statement I was in favor of total lockdown. I don't tjink you understand what a lockdown is. You saying this is a safe community doesn't do a thing to protect our children. Security measures will. And any person that has legitimate business at a school would not/ should not balk at these additional measures. I think it's really weird you think it "crazy" to be buzzed in. Maybe we disagree because clearly I would be willing to do so much more than you in order to keep my kids, and yours, safe
Amy Adam-Jenkins December 15, 2012 at 12:54 AM
I questioned the increased security at OHS when I dropped my son off this morning. Sure, an increase police presence made for quite the show, but did anyone else notice that in the back lot, there is an area that is unsecured due to the construction? Students are required to have their ID available upon questioning, but can anyone with a tool box and hard hat can walk in a different door? In some areas of construction, the only thing that separates the "secure" school from the "construction zone" is a piece of poly, or drywall. I have asked in the past, what background checks, if any are done on the contractors that freely walk in and out of our schools. Still waiting for a response. Hopefully, someone might think that question isn't so silly anymore.
Walt Hines December 15, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Amy very good question! After what happened today anyone could walk on that job site dressed as a worker and open fire at anytime. This s a problem and I hope that someone is addressing this issue sooner than later.
Greg O'Neil December 15, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Like everyone else I am saddened and sickened by the violence in Connecticut today. My heart goes out to those poor people who were hurt or injured in this senseless, evil act. I am all for ANY ways we can think of to protect our children. Of course if there was a way to do it I guess after Columbine, Virginia Tech, NIU etc. etc. something would have been done already. Thats the hard part to accept. We are vunerable to this violence and while we should do everything we can to make our schools as safe as we can, there is nothing we can do thats 100% effective against a deranged person determined to cause this harm. Just last night after hearing my daughters telling me of the threats of violence at Oswego I explained how serious this was and that these threats had led to viloence in other places. I told them what they should do in the event of an attack to protect themselves. I know Oswego officials are doing everything they can to address this disturbing problem. We have issues at the school such as space, busing, taxes, etc. that seem a little less important today than they did yesterday. I hope we can have a forum at the school where we parents can discuss how we as a communuty will go forward from here and how we will address this viloence issue as best we possibly can. I hope this is an issue we can all come together on and try and find a way to keep our kids safe.
Jacqueline December 15, 2012 at 03:38 AM
I too rec'd the e-mail from 308, talking about all the rumors going around & that the only credible information was the one about next week (Friday Dec 21) and only at OHS. I have friends that are parents of kids at OEHS that told me that today there was a cause for concern due to one student who had been bullied. One friend's son was in that student's first hour class & 19 students were missing. They also had a lot of extra police presence. While that may have been a rumor, it's disconcerting to hear the school district say it was nothing. At the same time the kids are saying it's real & there are extra police there. The 308 email also said to calm your student's fears. Really? How? I've not been told of any changes except for "increased security". Does that mean one extra security person without a gun? Does that mean metal detecters? Does that mean 10 police officers in the hallways? There's usually some kind of warning ahead of these incidents & OHS has been given warning.
Sab123 December 15, 2012 at 04:52 AM
That question has already addressed . Although I can not get into details how i know but that area is monitored . And as for Jane , Oswego schools are updated with secured doors . OHS is monitored before and after school begins. It is also locked down once school begins and you need to show an ID and be buzzed in once inside. The Administration and Security there is top notch this year run by experienced professionals which all put the safety of the students first . They will go out of their way to keep your kids safe . I've seen this first hand recently and despite all the tragic events that happens unexpectly in schools , I would feel comfortable sending my children there. Safety is always an important issue in schools and should recognized all year round . The only sad thing about this is , the security is the lowest paid people on the districts payroll but most of them would give everything they have to keep your kids safe ..
JimmyJ December 15, 2012 at 04:56 AM
Henry...security is good during the school day. Not so for after school activities.
sarah December 15, 2012 at 05:48 AM
I went to a high school that we had to go through metal detectors to even get in and have photo id. It seems extreme, but worth it.
Chasity green December 15, 2012 at 05:48 AM
I'm not surprised. I've lived here for 26 years. With what is moving in the neighboorhoods. Nothing but trouble. It was bad when i went to school and it has gotten alot worse. Thats why my son doesnt go to school here
Meloni Wilde December 15, 2012 at 06:45 AM
All this is meaningless...what are we going to do as parents to teach our children to respect themselves, each other, the community, and humanity as a whole. Say what you will, but this needs to be as strongly enforced as reading, writing, and arithmetic.
bobbie December 15, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Veronica this is not the case at Thompson. I have Never had a photo ID. I have checked out my grandchild without as much as looking at my drivers license - I don't care if he is 12 & a 12 year old & wouldn't go with someone he didnt know, it is the school responsibility to request an ID every time & they have never asked. My other Grandchild are in an affluent area & have a 5 digit number assigned to the parents car & it hangs from the mirror in order to pick them up - no number, the child doesn't leave. Oswego needs to come up with a system that is more secure. You will hear from Real Estate people that Oswego Schools are the best, they aren't even making the State standard grade in academics.
JPauly December 15, 2012 at 02:24 PM
The security at Hunt Club were my one kid attends is hop over 2 counters and you are in the school. From the locker checks the police made yesterday at Plank, were my other kid attends and the canceled dance shows me the district is counting on a proactive approach.
mom23 December 15, 2012 at 02:31 PM
This is very serious. The threat at OHS is real and it was on the 5 & 10:00 news last night on chanel 5. I do believe the district is doing what they believe is enough by adding police BUT in the wake of CT yesterday and this threat being against staff and students at OHS this week (they originally said for Friday but could be prior to Friday) it is my strong opinion that they close OHS for the week and just add a week on to the end of the year. Yes, this will give them an extended winter break BUT this will give them time to investigate and figure out all who is involved and try to get these kids cought so by the time school resumes in January it will be safer. Am I over reacting?? Maybe to some, others are right there with me. I don't care. If this is real and considering what happened in ct yesterday it is better to be safe than sorry . it is better to over react to keep our students and staff safe than to end up on the news and what we saw with Columbine, CT and others becomes us. Difference is CT had no warning, it couldn't be prevented. We do have a warning, we cannot ignore it and just hope for the best. It is all of our jobs, parents and the school to do ALL we can to prevent this from taking place. Do you wanna be the one to say "ah, nothin's goona happen" and turn your head and then in the chance these kids are very serious and it does happen, live with that fact that we could have done more, but chose not to and now our kids and staff are gone forever.
mom23 December 15, 2012 at 02:39 PM
also, the schools do have securtiy measures in place with keeping "strangers" from entering. Problem with this particular threat at OHS is.... it is the shcools own students planning this. They are already IN the school and unless every kid and backpack is searched upon entry to the school (which isn't going to happen) then it doesn't matter if there are police there. Unless there are police in every classroom, every hallway, every bathroom, ya get my point.. it doesn't matter. It only takes seconds to pull out a weapon and use it. I'm not trying to freak people out more, but even one of the students posted this fact and that's why they are very scared to go to school next week even with some police there. CLOSE THE SCHOOL!!!!
Jennifer December 15, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Its nice to know that all the high schools have great security measures. Now, what about middle and elementary schools? I have a child that goes to a district 308 elementary school and we do not have these security measures. I challenge 308 to step up and take protective measures for all 308 schools. I do not think that enough has been done to make parents feel safe enough to send their children to school next week. I am considering having my child stay home. Just don't feel like everything has been handled well. I can say this because we received the automated message, 308 updates on the website. Like someone mentioned in previous comments it is better to be safe than ignore the threats like nothing happened. I am a very concerned parent of a 308 student and I am sure there are others out there who feel the same. I respect everyone's thoughts so far. I am just doing what I think is right for my child.
JimmyJ December 15, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Security is not always what it's cracked up to be, how many doors are on a school? Are they all watched? Panic devices can be opened form the outside if you know how.
JimmyJ December 15, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Walt, I used to work, many years ago for a chain of movie theatres. Our "master key" was a home made device to slide between the doors and trip the panic bar on the doors. At the Water Tower...if you went in before "mall hours" security might question you, might, and if you had a tool belt...they waived you through. From the theatre you had access so some pretty vital stuff for the hotel......don't believe for one minute that security measures alone are enough to keep you safe.
TruthSeeker December 16, 2012 at 12:17 AM
God has been removed from schools and prayer along with it. We teach kids that there is no God. We teach moral relativism. Political correctness. Anything but The Truth. Kids today are taught by government run schools that the universe was created out of nothing by a "big bang". So kids, go out into that meaningless, pointless, chaotic world and try and make something of yourselves. But mention Jesus Christ, and watch how everyone squirms... And why then are we really that surprised and ask why these things happen? They happen because evil fills the God shaped vacuum left behind by people who reject the author of life itself. Those who love death do these things, incited by Satan. Your government won't save you. Your president won't save you. Only the Lord, Jesus Christ offers an increasingly depraved world the hope of salvation. At times like this, evil has manifested itself where God has been removed. If you or your loved ones don't know Jesus, I pray that you will seek Him as he is the only hope for this world. Those who seek will find Him. The Bible says we are indeed in the last days and these days will certainly continue to become worse. The Bible says that like a woman's labor pains increase, so will the trouble coming on this world will increase in frequency and intensity. Salvation through Jesus Christ is the only hope for this world. This is what Christmas was "supposed" to be about - remember?? The gift if our Savior.
Christine December 16, 2012 at 03:49 AM
#jennifer----I ABSOLUTELY AGREE with you! I too have 2 children at Homestead Elementary and have left 2 message for the Superintendent in addition to the Vice Principal (Ms. Weber) requesting an officer to be placed not only at my elementary school in lieu of the catastrophic event in CT to innocent kindergartners & other staff but a police officer to be placed at ALL 308 schools. This OHS threat is real but who says it will now stay only at OHS? I am scared of a "copy-cat" incident occurring. I understand the police and District 308 are desperately trying to be pro-active, but unless an armed police officer is at my children's elementary school ALL next week, I cannot in good faith send them to school. I would much rather be overly cautious than to have any regrets. If any of you concerned parents want police at your school and ALL the schools in District 308 next week, I implore you to phone the Oswego District office at 1-(630) 636-3080. Thank you for the great conversations....it is nice knowing I am surrounded by parents from ALL grade levels who are deeply concerned about next week...this threat is to ALL of us & our children's safety.
JimmyJ December 16, 2012 at 07:25 PM
I had to pick up a step child early from one of our schools, for some reason they had the previous years paperwork in the office binder and said I wasn't able to because I wasn't listed. So I went out to my car, called the school and told them I'd be in to pick her up early. I walked back into the school and proceeded to pick her up. No problem. Sounds silly but that's how it went. Security?
Jen December 17, 2012 at 05:48 AM
There's a big difference between not teaching religion in public schools and teaching children there is no God. Children have parents, family, and members of their church to teach them about God. God is in your heart, not in a building. And, on Friday, as tragic as it was, God was there in the 1st grade teacher who sat in the bathroom with her class and calmed and comforted them (and, yes, told them to pray if they wanted to). God was there in the principal who loved her students so much she gave her life trying to save them. God was there in the other teachers and staff who gave their lives trying to protect their students. God was there in the first responders who had the heartbreaking but necessary task of going into that school, witnessing the devastation firsthand, and coming to the aid of those who were injured and those who were physically unharmed but emotionally traumatized. God was there in the priest who showed up to comfort the families who had to receive devastating news about a loved one. God was there in the community members who gathered to comfort those who lost a loved one. And God was there in every person in this country and around the world who has prayed and looked for ways to offer their support to those affected. God doesn't need permission to be there, he just is. And I feel sorry for anyone who thinks he's missing just because religion isn't taught in public schools, for they do not get it.
Tina December 17, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Jacqueline - thank you! My son goes to OEHS and yes that rumor was true - my son was petrified to go to school last Friday. And now they say it's nothing? I received an email stating that OEHS will not have the extra police presence this week - and I'm supposed to feel good about this WHY?

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »