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Shabbona bomb threat proves unfounded

Search executed after graffiti discovered

Published: Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012 11:20 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 10:29 a.m. CDT

Shabbona Middle School had another bomb threat written on a bathroom wall Thursday, but like with a prior threat from last month, police dogs found no explosives in the school.

Custodial staff found a threat in graffiti on the wall of a girl’s bathroom that stated, “The bomb is in the school –jc.” The police and school district are unaware of what the “jc” stands for.

The school’s administration was notified of the threat shortly after 8 a.m.; school was already in session. Morris police and fire were immediately called.

Because the graffiti lacked specifics, the authorities did not believe there was an immediate threat, said Superintendent Teri Shaw. The school was put on a “soft lock down,” where students remained in their classrooms while police searched the school. The Cook County Bomb Squad brought in two dogs to search the school.

“The dogs checked the whole school and the authorities deemed the building to be safe and secure,” said Shaw.

There was police presence at the school until it was found to be safe and officers returned to the school for the evening’s band and choir concert.

Police are investigating the threat and continue to investigate the previous threat, said Shaw.

The bomb threat in November was written on the wall of a boy’s bathroom. “I’m bringing the boom to Shabona on 11/16/12” was written on the wall. Shabbona was spelled incorrectly in the graffiti.

After the first incident, the school district began the process of installing cameras in the school outside of bathrooms, at entryways and in hallways. The equipment had been ordered and the school was on the list for installation by the company. After Thursday’s threat, the company moved the school up the list and was in the building putting up the shell for the equipment, said Shaw.

White Oak is expected to get cameras in the future as well.

The students spent their recess time being lectured by the principals about consequences for such threats, which include fines and possible expulsion, said Shaw.

The district e-mailed a letter to parents telling them of the incident and what action was being taken. A second letter was sent when the school was cleared of any danger. The school was deemed safe by about 11 a.m.

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