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Shabbona 'safe, secure' despite graffiti-sparked bomb concerns

Bomb squad walks through school out of 'abundance of caution'

Shabbona Middle School was deemed "safe and secure" by the Cook County Bomb Squad Thursday night after a feared bomb threat was written on a boys bathroom wall.

The graffiti was found in the bathroom located off the art room on the east side of the building, said Superintendent Teri Shaw of Morris Elementary School District 54. Parents and staff were notified Thursday evening of the situation.

“I’m bringing the boom to Shabona on 11/16/12" was written on the wall. Shabbona was spelled incorrectly in the graffiti, said Shaw.

The statement, it was noted, could be a reference to “Here Comes the Boom,” a movie currently in theaters about a teacher who wants to raise money for his school. But school officials did not want to take the risk and called the authorities.

"In abundance of caution we called the police and fire department," Shaw said.

Morris police, Morris Fire Protection and Ambulance District, and the Cook County Bomb Squad canine unit were called in and searched the building Thursday at about 9:30 p.m., said Morris Police Chief Brent Dite.

By 10:30 p.m., the district was notifying parents by emails and phone calls through their "Blackboard Connect" system that the school was deemed safe. Shaw noted in the email version sent to parents that she would be sending her seventh-grade son to school on Friday.

Morris police had officers at the entrances of the building when school began Friday morning and when school was out, said Dite.

"We all took the matter seriously and acted in a proactive fashion," he said.

The incident is still being investigated.

On Friday, the number of absent students was noticeably higher than usual, said Shaw, but she did not have numbers available Friday. There were no after-school activities scheduled on Friday.

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